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THE present volume has been translated from the 
fifth edition of the original, and has had, throughout, 

the benefit of Professor Duncker's revision. 

E. A. 

Oxford, Jan. 14, 1879. 


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KING SOLOMON ... ... 1^9 


THE LAW OF THE PRIESTS ... ... ... 201 


JUDAH AND ISRAEL ... ... ... ... ... 227 


THE CITIES OF THE PHENICIANS ... ... ... ... 262 


THE TRADE OF THE PHENICIANS ... ... ... ... 294 


THE RISE OF ASSYRIA ... ... ... ... ... 308 





ABOUT the middle course of the Tigris, where the moun- 
tain wall of the Armenian plateau steeply descends to 
the south, there is a broad stretch of hilly country. 
To the west it is traversed by a few water- courses 
only, which spring out of the mountains of Sindyar, 
and unite with the Tigris ; from the east the affluents 
are far more abundant. On the southern shore of the 
lake of Urumiah the edge of the plateau of Iran abuts 
on the Armenian table-land, and then, stretching to the 
south-east, it bounds the river valley of the Tigris 
toward the east. From its vast, successive ranges, 
the Zagrus of the Greeks, flow the Lycus and Caprus 
(the Greater and the Lesser Zab), the Adhim and the 
Diala. The water, which these rivers convey to the 
land between the Zagrus and the Tigris, together 
with the elevation of the soil, softens the heat and 
allows olive trees and vines to flourish in the cool air 
on the hills, sesame and corn in the valleys between 
groups of palms and fruit-trees. The backs of the 
heights which rise to the east are covered by forests of 
oaks and nut trees. Toward the south the ground 


&*.: . , : /A . .* ASSYRIA. 

gradually sinks oil the west immediately under the 
mountains of Sindyar, on the east below the Lesser 
Zab toward the course of the Adhim into level plains, 
where the soil is little inferior in fertility to the land 
of Babylonia. The land between the Tigris and the 
Greater Zab is known to Strabo and Arrian as Aturia. 1 
The districts between the Greater and Lesser Zab are 
called Arbelitis and Adiabene by western writers. 2 
The region bounded by the Lesser Zab and the Adhim 
or the Diala is called Sittacene, and the land lying 
on the mountains rising further toward the east is 
Chalonitis. The latter we shall without doubt have to 
regard as the Holwan 3 of later times. 

According to the accounts of the Greeks, it was 
in these districts that the first kingdom rose which 
made conquests and extended its power beyond the 
borders of its native country. In the old time such 
is the story kings ruled in Asia, whose names were not 
mentioned, as they had not performed any striking ex- 
ploits. The first of whom any memorial is retained, and 
who performed great deeds, was Ninus, the king of the 
Assyrians. Warlike and ambitious by nature, he armed 

1 Strabo, pp. 736, 737. Arrian, " Anab." 3, 7, 7. The same form of 
the name, Athura, is given in the inscriptions of Darius. 

3 Plin. "Hist. Nat." 6, 27 ; 5, 12 : Adiabene Assyria ante dicta. 
Ptolemseus (6, 1) puts Adiabene and Arbelitis side by side. Diodorus, 
18, 39. Arrian, Epit. 35 : n]v pif pkativ rHJv irorafiuv yjjv icat rtjv 
'Apf3r)\lriv ivupt 'AfjKpifia^. 

3 Polyb. 5, 5-4. The border line between the original country of 
Assyria and Elam cannot be ascertained with certainty. According 
to Herodotus (5, 52) Susa lay 42 parasangs, '. e. about 150 miles, to 
the south of the northern border of Susiana. Hence we may perhaps 
take the Diala as the border between the later Assyria and Elam. The 
use of the name Assyria for Mesopotamia and Babylonia, as well as 
Assyria proper, in Herodotus (e. g. 1, 178) and other Greeks, the name 
Syria, which is only an abbreviation of Assyria (Herod. 7, 63), arises 
from the period of the supremacy of Assyria in the epoch 750 650 
B.C. Cf. Strabo, pp. 736, 737, and Noldeke, ASSYPI02, Hermes, 1871 
(5), 443 ff. 


tlie most vigorous of his young men, and accustomed 
them by long and various exercises to all the toils and 
dangers of war. After collecting a splendid army, he 
combined with Ariseus, the prince of the Arabs, and 
marched with numerous troops against the neighbouring 
Babylonians. The city of Babylon was not built at 
that time, but there were other magnificent cities in the 
land. The Babylonians were an unwarlike people, and 
he subdued them with little trouble, took their king 


prisoner, slew him with his children, and imposed a 
yearly tribute on the Babylonians. Then with a still 
greater force he invaded Armenia and destroyed 
several cities. Barzanes, the king of Armenia, per- 
ceived that he was not in a position to resist. He 
repaired with costly presents to Ninus and undertook 
to be his vassal. With great magnanimity Ninus per- 
mitted him to retain the throne of Armenia ; but he was 
to provide a contingent in war and contribute to the 
support of the army. Strengthened by these means, 
Ninus turned his course to Media. Pharnus, king of 
Media, came out to meet him with a strong force, but he 
was nevertheless defeated, and crucified with his wife 
and seven children, and Ninus placed one of his own 
trusty men as viceroy over Media. These successes 
raised in Ninus the desire to subjugate all Asia as far 
as the Nile and the Tanais. He conquered, as Ctesias 
narrates, Egypt, Phoenicia, Coele Syria, Cilicia, Lycia 
and Caria, Lydia, Mysia, Phrygia, Bithynia, and 
Cappadocia, and reduced the nations on the Pontus as 
far as the Tanais. Then he made himself master of the 
land of the Cadusians and Tapyrians, of the Hyrcanians, 
Drangians, Derbiccians, Carmanians, Chorasmians, 
Barcians, and Parthians. Beside these, he overcame 
Persia, and Susiana, and Caspiana, and many other 
small nations. But in spite of many efforts he failed to 



obtain any success against the Bactrians, because the 
entrance to their land was difficult and the number of 
their men of war was great. So he deferred the war 
against the Bactrians to another opportunity, and led 
his army back, after subjugating in 17 years all the 
nations of Asia, with the exception of the Indians 
and Bactrians. The king of the Arabians he dismissed 
to his home with costly presents and splendid booty ; 
he began himself to build a city which should not 
only be greater than any other then in existence, but 
should be such that no city in the future could ever 
surpass it. This city he founded on the bank of the 
Tigris, 1 in the form of an oblong, and surrounded it with 
strong fortifications. The two longer sides measured 
150 stades each, the two shorter sides 90 stades each, 
so that the whole circuit was 480 stades. The walls 
reached a height of 100 feet, and were so thick that 
there was room in the gangway for three chariots to 
pass each other. These walls were surmounted by 1500 
towers, each of the height of 200 feet. As to the 
inhabitants of the city, the greater number and those 
of the most importance were Assyrians, but from the 
other nations also any who chose could fix his dwelling 
here, and Ninus allotted to the settlers large portions 
of the surrounding territory, and called the city Ninus, 
after his own name. 

When the city was built Ninus resolved to march 
against the Bactrians. He knew the number and 

J The Euphrates, which Diodorus mentions 2, 3 and also 2, 27, is 
not to be put down to a mistake of Ctesias, since Nicolaus (Frag. 9, 
ed. Miiller) describes Nineveh as situated on the Tigris in a passage 
undoubtedly borrowed from Ctesias. The error belongs, as Carl 
Jacoby ("Ehein. Museum," 30, 575 ff.) has proved, to the 1 istorians 
of the time of Alexander and the earliest Diadochi, who had in their 
thoughts the city of Mabog (Hierapolis), on the Euphrates, which was 
also called Nineveh. The mistake has passed from Clitarchu < to the 
narrative of Diodorus. 


bravery of the Bactrians, and how difficult their land 
was to approach, and therefore he collected the armies 
of all the subject nations, to the number of 1,700,000 
foot soldiers, 210,000 cavalry, and towards 10,600 
chariots of war. The narrowness of the passes which 
protect the entrance to Bactria compelled Ninus to 
divide his army. Oxyartes, who at that time was king 
of the Bactrians, ha.d collected the whole male popula- 
tion of his country, about 400,000 men, and met the 
enemy at the passes. One part of the Assyrian army 
he allowed to enter unmolested ; when a sufficient 
number seemed to have reached the plains he attacked 
them and drove them back to the nearest mountains ; 
about 100,000 Assyrians were slain. But when the 
whole force had penetrated into the land, the Bactrians 
were overcome by superior numbers and scattered each 
to his own city. The rest of the cities were captured 
by Ninus with little trouble, but Bactra, the chief 
city, where the palace of the king lay, he could not 
reduce, for it was large and well-provisioned, and the 
fortress was very strong. 

When the siege became protracted, Onnes, the first 
among the counsellors of the king and viceroy of 
Syria, who accompanied the king on this campaign, 
sent for his wife Semiramis to the camp. Once 
when he was inspecting the flocks of the king in 
Syria, he had seen at the dwelling of Simmas, the 
keeper of these flocks, a beautiful maiden, and he was 
so overcome with love for her that he sought and 
obtained her as a wife from Simmas. She was the 
foster-child of Simmas. In a rocky place in the 
desert his shepherds had found the maiden about a 
year old, fed by doves with milk and cheese ; as 
Simmas was childless he had taken the foundling as 
his child, and given her the name of Semiramis 


Onnes took her to the city of Ninus. She bore 
him two sons, Hyapates and Hydaspes, and as she 
had everything "which beauty requires, she made her 
husband her slave; he did nothing without her ad- 
vice, and everything succeeded admirably. She also 
possessed intelligence and daring, and every other gift 
likely to advance her. When requested by Onnes to 
come to the camp, she seized the opportunity to dis- 
play her power. She put on such clothing that it 
could not be ascertained whether she was a man or a 
woman, and this succeeded so well that at a later time 
the Medes, and after them the Persians also, wore the 
robe of Semiramis. When she arrived in the camp 
she perceived that the attack was directed only against 
the parts of the city lying in the plain, not against the 
high part and the strong fortifications of the citadel, 
and she also perceived that this direction of the attack 
induced the Bactrians to be careless in watching the 
citadel. She collected all those in the army who were 
accustomed to climbing, and with this troop she 
ascended the citadel from a deep ravine, captured a part 
of it, and gave the signal to the army which was 
assaulting the walls in the plain. The Bactrians lost 
their courage w r hen they saw their citadel occupied, 
and the city was taken. Ninus admired the courage 
of the woman, honoured her with costly presents, and 
was soon enchained by her beauty; but his attempts to 
persuade Onnes to give up Semiramis to him were in 
vain ; in vain he offered to recompense him by the 
gift of his own daughter Sosana in marriage. At 
length Ninus threatened to put out his eyes if he did 
not obey his commands. The terror of this threat 
and the violence of his own love drove Onnes out of 
his mind. He hung himself. Thus Semiramis came 
to the throne of Assyria. "When Ninus had taken 


possession of the great treasures of gold and silver 
which were in Baetra, and had arranged everything 
there, he led his army back. At Ninus Semiramis 
bore him a son, Ninyas, and at his death, when he 
had reigned 52 years, Ninus bequeathed to her the 
sovereign power. She buried his corpse in the royal 
palace, and caused a huge mound to be raised over the 
grave, 6000 feet in the circuit and 5400 feet high, 
which towered over the city of Ninus like a lofty 
citadel, and could be seen far through the plain in 
which Ninus lay. 

As Semiramis was ambitious, and desired to surpass 
the fame of Ninus, she built the great city of Babylon, 
with mighty walls and towers, the two royal citadels, 
the bridge over the Euphrates, and the temple of 
Belus, and caused a great lake to be excavated to draw 
oif the water of the Euphrates. Other cities also she 
founded on the Euphrates and the Tigris, and caused 
depots to be made for those who brought merchandise 
from Media, Paraetacene, and the bordering countries. 
After completing these works she marched with a great 
army to Media and planted the garden near Mount 
Bagistanon. The steep and lofty face of this moun- 
tain, more than 10,000 feet in height, she caused to be 
smoothed, and on it was cut her picture surrounded 
by 100 guards ; and an inscription was engraved in 
Syrian letters, saying that Semiramis had caused the 
pack-saddles of her beasts of burden to be piled on 
each other, and on these had ascended to the summit 
of the mountain. Afterwards she made another large 
garden near the city of Chauon, in Media, 1 and on a 
rock in the middle of it she erected rich and costly 
buildings, from which she surveyed the blooming 

1 Stoph. Byzant. Xavuv, x"''P a T 
H & Z{ui tvTivQtv ii\avv(t K. r. X. 


garden and the army encamped in the plain. Here 
she remained for a long time, and gave herself up to 
every kind of pleasure. She was unwilling to contract 
another .marriage from fear of losing the sovereign 
power, but she lived with any of her warriors who 
were distinguished for their beauty. All who had 
enjoyed her favours she secretly put to death. After 
this retirement she turned her course to Egbatana, 
caused a path to be cut through the rocks of Mount 
Zagrus, and a short and convenient road to be made 
across them, in order to leave behind an imperishable 
memorial of her reign. In Egbatana she erected a 
splendid palace, and in order to provide the city with 
water she caused a tunnel to be made through the lofty 
mountain Orontes at its base, which conveyed the 
water of a lake lying on the other side of the heights 
into the city. After this she marched through Persia 
and all the countries of Asia which were subject to 
her, and caused the mountains to be cut through and 
straight and level roads to be built everywhere, while 
in the plains she at one place raised great mounds over 
her dead generals, and in another built cities on hills ; 
and wherever the army was encamped eminences were 
raised for her tent so that she might overlook the whole. 
Of these works many are still remaining in Asia and 
bear the name of Semiramis. Then she subjugated 
Egypt, 1 a great part of Libya, and nearly the whole of 
Ethiopia, and finally returned to Bactra. 

A long period of peace ensued, till she resolved to 
subjugate the Indians on hearing that they were the 
most numerous of all nations, and possessed the largest 
and most beautiful country in the world. For two 
years preparations were made throughout her whole 

1 Diod. i, 56. 


kingdom ; in the third year she collected in Bactria 
3,000,000 foot soldiers, 500,000 horsemen, and 100,000 
chariots. Beside these, 100,000 camels were covered 
with the sewn skins of black oxen, and each was 
mounted by one warrior ; these animals were intended 
to pass for elephants with the Indians. For crossing 
the Indus 2000 ships were built, then taken to pieces 
again, and the various parts packed on camels. 
Stabrobates, the king of the Indians, awaited the 
Assyrians on the bank of the Indus. He also had 
prepared for the war with all his power, and gathered 
together even a larger force from the whole of India. 
When Semiramis approached he sent messengers to 
meet her with the complaint that she was making war 
upon him though he had done her no wrong ; and in 
his letter he reproached her licentious life, and calling 
the gods to witness, threatened to crucify her if vic- 
torious. Semiramis read the letter, laughed, and said 
that the Indians would find out her virtue by her 
actions. The fleet of the Indians lay ready for battle 
on the Indus. Semiramis caused her ships to be put 
together, manned them with her bravest warriors, and, 
after a long and stubborn contest, the victory fell to 
her share. A thousand ships of the Indians were sunk 
and many prisoners taken. Then she also took the 
islands and cities on the river, and out of these she 
collected more than 100,000 prisoners. But the king 
of the Indians, pretending flight, led his army back 
from the Indus; in reality he wished to induce the 
enemy to cross the Indus. As matters succeeded 
according to her wishes, Semiramis caused a large and 
broad bridge to be thrown skilfully over the Indus, 
and on this her whole army passed over. Leaving 
60,000 men to protect the bridge, she pursued the 
Indians with the rest of her army, and sent on in front 


the camels clothed as elephants. At first the Indians 
did not understand whence Semiramis could have 
procured so many elephants and were alarmed. But 
the deception could not last. Soldiers of Semiramis, 
who were found careless on the watch, deserted to the 
enemy to escape punishment, and betrayed the secret. 
Stabrobates proclaimed it at once to his whole army, 
caused a halt to be made, and offered battle to the 
Assyrians. When the armies approached each other 
the kino: of the Indians ordered his horsemen and 


chariots to make the attack. Semiramis sent against 
them her pretended elephants. When the cavalry of 
the Indians came up their horses started back at the 
strange smell, part of them dislodged their riders, 
others refused to obey the rein. Taking advantage of 
this moment, Semiramis, herself on horseback, pressed 
forward with a chosen band of men upon the Indians, 
and turned them to flight. Stabrobates was still 
unshaken; he led out his elephants, and behind them 
his infantry. Himself on the right wing, mounted on the 
best elephant, he chanced to come opposite Semiramis. 
He made a resolute attack upon the queen, and was 
followed by the rest of the elephants. The soldiers of 
Semiramis resisted only a short time. The elephants 
caused an immense slaughter ; the Assyrians left their 
ranks, they fled, and the king pressed forward against 
Semiramis ; his arrow wounded her arm, and as she 
turned away his javelin struck her on the back. She 
hastened away, while her people were crushed and 
trodden down by their own numbers ; and at last, as 
the Indians pressed upon them, were forced from the 
bridge into the river. As soon as Semiramis saw the 
greater part of her army on the nearer bank, she caused 
the cables to be cut which held the bridge ; the force 
of the stream tore the beams asunder, and many 


Assyrians who were on the bridge were plunged in the 
river. The other Assyrians were now in safety, the 
wounds of Semiramis were not dangerous, and the 
king of the Indians was warned by signs from heaven 
and their interpretation by the seers not to cross the 
river. After exchanging prisoners Semiramis returned 
to Bactra. She had lost two-thirds of her army. 

Some time afterwards she was attacked by a con- 
spiracy, which her own son Ninyas set on foot against 
her by means of an eunuch. Then she remembered a 
prophecy given to her in the temple of Zeus Ammon 
during the campaign in Libya; that when her son 
Ninyas conspired against her she would disappear from 
the sight of men, and the honours of an immortal would 
be paid to her by some nations of Asia. Hence she 
cherished no resentment against Ninyas, but, on the 
contrary, transferred to him the kingdom, ordered her 
viceroys to obey him, and soon after put herself to death, 
as though, according to the oracle, she had raised herself 
to the gods. Some relate that she was changed into a 
dove, and flew out of the palace with a flock of doves. 
Hence it is that the Assyrians regard Semiramis as an 
immortal, and the dove as divine. She was 62 years 
old, and had reigned 42 years. 

The preceding narrative, which is from Diodorus, is 
borrowed in essentials from the Persian history of 
Ctesias, who lived for some time at the Persian Court 
in the first two decades of the reign of Artaxerxes 
Mnemon (405 361 B.C.). On the end of Semiramis 
the account of Ctesias contained more details than the 
account of Diodorus. This is made clear by some 
fragments from Ctesias preserved by other writers. 
In Nicolaus of Damascus we are told that after the 
Indian war Semiramis marched through the land 
of the Medes. Here she visited a very lofty and 


precipitous mountain, which could only be ascended on 
one side. On this she at once caused an abode to be 
built from which to survey her army. 

While encamped here, Satibaras the eunuch told 
the sons of Onnes, Hyapates and Hydaspes, that 
Ninyas would put them to death if he ascended the 
throne ; they must anticipate him by removing their 
mother and Ninyas out of the way, and possessing 
themselves of the sovereign power. Moreover, it was 
to their great dishonour to be spectators of the licen- 
tiousness of their mother, who, even at her years, daily 
desired every youth that came in her way. The 
matter, he said, was easy of accomplishment ; when he 
summoned them to the queen (he was entrusted with 
this business) they could come to the summit of the 
mountain and throw their mother down from it. 
But it happened that behind the altar, near which they 
held this conversation, a Mede was lying, who over- 
heard them. He wrote down everything on a skin 
and sent it to Semiramis. When she had read it she 
caused the sons of Onnes to be summoned, and gave 
strict orders that they should come in arms. Delighted 
that the deity favoured the undertaking, Satibaras 
fetched the young men. When they appeared Semi- 
ramis bade the eunuch step aside, and then she spoke to 
them : " You worthless sons of an honest and brave 
father have allowed yourselves to be persuaded by a 
worthless slave to throw down from this height your 
mother, who holds her empire from the gods, in order 
to obtain glory among men, and to rule after the murder 
of your mother and your brother Ninyas. Then she 
spoke to the Assyrians." l Here the fragment of Nicolaus 
breaks off. From the fragments of Cephalion we may 
gather that the sons of Onnes were put to death by 

1 Frag. 7, ed. Miiller. 


Semiramis. Yet Cephalion gave a different account of 
the death of Semiramis from Ctesias ; according to him 
Ninyas slew her. 1 In Ctesias, as is clear from the 
account of Diodorus and other remains of Ctesias, 
nothing was spoken of beyond the conspiracy which 
Ninyas prepared against her. 2 

After the death of Semiramis, so Diodorus con- 
tinues his narrative, Ninyas ruled in peace, for he 
by no means emulated his mother's military ambition 
and delight in danger. He remained always in the 
palace, was seen by no one but his concubines and 
eunuchs, took upon himself no care or trouble, 
thought only of pleasure and pastime, considered it the 
object of sovereign power to give himself up undis- 
turbed to all sorts of enjoyment. His seclusion served 
to hide his excesses in obscurity ; he seemed like an in- 
visible God, whom no one ventured to offend even in 
word. In order to preserve his kingdom he put leaders 
over the army, viceroys, judges, and magistrates over 
every nation, and arranged everything as seemed most 
useful to himself. To keep his subjects in fear he 
caused each nation to provide a certain number of 
soldiers every year, and these were quartered together 
in a camp outside the city, and placed under the 
command of men most devoted to himself. At the 
end of the year they were dismissed and replaced by 
others to the same number. Hence his subjects always 
saw a great force in the camp ready to punish dis- 
obedience or defection. In the same way his descend- 
ants also reigned for 30 generations, till the empire 
passed to the Medes. 3 Slightly differing from this 
account, Nicolaus tells us that Sardanapalus to whom 
in the order of succession the kingdom of Ninus and 

1 Frag. 1, 2, ed. M Her; cf. Justin. 1, 1. 

2 Anonym, tract. " De Mulier." c. 1. 3 Diod. 2, 21. 


Semiramis finally descended neither carried arms 
nor went out to the hunting-field, like the kings in 
old times, but always remained in his palace. Yet 
even in his time the old arrangements were kept and 
the satraps of the subject nations gathered with the 
fixed contingent at the gate of the king. 1 

From what source is the narrative of Ninus and 
Semiramis derived? what title to credibility can be 
allowed it ? Herodotus states that the dominion of 
the Assyrians in Asia was the oldest ; their supremacy 
was followed by that of the Medes, and the supremacy 
of the Medes was followed by the kingdom of the 
Achsemenids. Herodotus too is acquainted with the 
name of Semiramis ; he represents her as ruling over 
Babylon, and building wonderful dykes in the level 
land, which the river had previously turned into a 
lake. 2 Strabo tells of the citadels, cities, mountain- 
roads, aqueducts, bridges, and canals which Semiramis 
constructed through all Asia, and to Semiramis Lucian 
traces back the old temples of Syria. 3 We may assume 
in explanation that the tradition of Hither Asia has 
ascribed to the first king and queen of Assyria the con- 
struction of the ancient road over the Zagrus, of old 
dykes and aqueducts in the land of the Euphrates and 
Tigris, the building, not of Nineveh only, but also of 
Babylon, the erection of the great monuments of for- 
gotten kings of Babylon, as a fact, Assyrian kings 
built in Babylon also in the seventh century. "VVe may 
find it conceivable that this tradition has gathered 
together and carried back to the time of the founda- 
tion all that memory retained of the acts of Assyrian 
rulers, the campaigns of conquest of a long series of war- 
like and mighty sovereigns, the sum total of the exploits 

1 Nicol. Frag. 8, ed. Miiller. 2 1, 184. 

3 Strabo, pp. 80, 529, 737 ; Lucian, " de Syria dea," c. 14. 


to which Assyria owed her supremacy. Yet against 
such an origin of this narrative doubts arise not easy 
to be removed. It is true that when this tradition 
explains the mode of life and the clothing; of the kings 

i. O O 

of Asia, and the clothing of the Medes and Persians, 
from the example of Semiramis, who wore in the camp 
a robe, half male and half female (p. 6) ; when this 
tradition derives the inaccessibility of the kings of Asia 
and their seclusion in the palace from the fact that 
Ninyas wished to hide his excesses, and appear to his 
subjects as a higher being, traits of this kind can be 
set aside as additions of the Greeks. To the Babylon- 
ians and Assyrians, the Medes and Persians, the life 
and clothing of their rulers could not appear con- 
temptible or remarkable, nor their own clothing half 
effeminate, though the Greeks might very well search 
for an explanation of customs so different from their 
own, and find them in the example and command of 
Semiramis, and the example of Ninyas. And if in 
Herodotus the empire of the Assyrians over Asia 
appears as a hegemony of confederates, 1 this idea is 
obviously borrowed from Greek models. The opposite 
statement of the division of the Assyrian kingdom into 
satrapies, the yearly change of the contingents of 
troops, comes from Ctesias, who transferred the arrange- 
ments of the Persian kingdom, with which he was 
acquainted, to their predecessors, the kingdom of the 
Assyrians, or found this transference made in his 
authorities, Persian or Mede, and copied it. 

Yet, after making as much allowance as we can for 
the amalgamating influence of native tradition, after 
going as far as we can in setting apart what may be 
due to the Greeks, how could such an accurate 

1 Herod. 1, 102. 


narrative, so well acquainted with every detail of the 
siege of Bactra, and the battle on the Indus, have 
been preserved for many centuries in the tradition of 
Hither Asia, retained even after the overthrow of 
Assyria, and down to the date when curious Greeks, 200 
years after the fall of Nineveh, reached the Euphrates 
and Tigris "? We possess a positive proof that about this 
time, in the very place to which this tradition must have 
clung most tenaciously, within the circuit of the old 
Assyrian country, no remembrance of that mighty past 
was in existence. When, in the year 401 B.C., Xenophon 
with his 10,000 marched past the ruins of the ancient 
cities of the Assyrian kingdom, the ruius of Asshur, 
Chalah, and Nineveh, before Ctesias wrote, he was 
merely told that these were cities of the Medes which 
could not be taken ; into one of them the queen of 
the Medes had fled before the Persian king, and the 
Persians, with the help of heaven, took and destroyed 
it when they gained the dominion over Media. 1 From 
the Assyrians, therefore, Herodotus and Ctesias could 
not have obtained the information given in their 
statements about Ninus and Semiramis, nor could their 
knowledge have come from the Babylonians. The 
tradition of Babylonia would never have attributed 
the mighty buildings of that city and land to the queen 
of another nation, to which Babylon had succumbed. 
Hence the account of the Greeks about Assyria and her 
rulers could only come from the Medes and Persians. 
But our narrative ascribes to Semiramis even the 
great buildings of the Median rulers, the erection of 
the royal citadel of Egbatana, the residence of the 
Median kings ; the parks and rock sculptures of Media, 
even the rock figure on Mount Bagistanon (p. 7). This 

1 Xenoph. "Anab." 3, 4, 610. 


sculpture in the valley of the Choaspes on the rock- wall 
of Bagistan (Behistun) is in existence. The wall is 
not 10,000 but only 1500 feet high. It is not Semira- 
mis who is pourtrayed in those sculptures, but Darius, 
the king of Persia, and before him are the leaders 
of the rebellious provinces. It was the proudest 
monument of, victory in all the history of Persia. 
Would a Persian have shown this to a Greek as a 
monument of Semiramis ? It would rather be a Mede, 
who would wish to hide from the Greeks that Media 
was among the provinces a second time conquered 
and brought to subjection. 

The difficulty of ascertaining the sources of our 
narrative is still further increased in no inconsiderable 
degree by the fact that the books of Ctesias are lost, 
and that Diodorus has not drawn immediately from 
them, but from a reproduction of Ctesias' account of 
Assyria. Yet the express references to the statements of 
Ctesias which Diodorus found in his authority, as well 
as fragments relating to the subject which have been 
elsewhere preserved, allow us to fix with tolerable 
accuracy what belongs to Ctesias in this narrative, 
and what Clitarchus, the renewer of his work, whom 
Diodorus had before him, has added. 1 It is Ctesias who 

1 Diodorus tells us himself (2, 7) that in writing the first 30 chapters 
of his second book he had before him the book of Clitarchus on 
Alexander. Carl Jacoby (loc, cit.) by a comparison with the state- 
ments in point in Curtius, who transcribed Clitarchus, and by the proof 
that certain passages in the narrative of Diodorus which relate to 
Bactria and India are in agreement with passages in the seventeenth 
book, in which Diodorus undoubtedly follows Clitarchus ; that certain 
observations in the description of Babylon in Diodorus can only 
belong to Alexander and his nearest successors ; that certain prepara- 
tions of Semiramis for the Indian campaign agree with certain 
preparations of Alexander for his Indian campaign, and certain 
incidents in Alexander's battle against Porus with certain incidents 
in the battle of Semiramis against Stabrobates; and finally by 
showing that the situation of the ancient Nineveh was unknown to 
VOL. ir. C 


enumerates the nations which Ninus subdued (p. 3). 
With him Semiramis was the daughter of a Syrian 
and Derceto, who throws herself into the lake of Ascalon, 
and is then worshipped as a goddess there. 1 To Ctesias 
belongs the nourishment of the child Semiramis by 
the doves of the goddess, her rise from the shepherd's 
hut to the throne of Assyria. He represents her as 
raising the mountain or the tomb of Ninus ; he ascribes 


to her the building of Babylon, its mighty walls and 
royal citadels, the aqueducts, and the great temple of 
Bel. He represented her as marching to the Indus 2 
and afterwards towards Media ; as making gardens 
there and building the road over the Zagrus. He 
' represented her as raising the mounds over the graves 

the historians of the time of Alexander, who "were on the other hand 
acquainted with a Nineveh on the Euphrates (Hierapolis, Mabog ; 
Plin. "Hist. Nat." 5, 23; Ammian. Marcell. 14, 8, 7) has made it at 
least very probable that Diodorus had Ctesias before him in the 
revision of Clitarchus. We may allow that Olitarchus brought the 
Bactrian Oxyartes into the narrative, unless we ought to read Exaortes 
in Diodorus ; but that the name of the king in Ctesias was Zoroaster 
is in my opinion very doubtful. The sources of Ctesias were stories 
related by Persians or Medes from the epic of West Iran. That this 
should put Zoroaster at the time of Ninus, and make him king of 
the Bactrians, in order to allow him to be overthrown by the Assyrians, 
is very improbable. Whether Ctesias ascribed to Semira:ms the building 
of Egbatana is also very doubtful ; that he mentioned her stay in 
Media, and ascribed to her the building of the road over the Zagrua 
and the planting of gardens, follows from the quotation of Stephanus 
given above. Ctesias has not ascribed to her the hanging gardens at 
Babylon. Diodorus makes them the work of a later Syrian king, whom 
Ctesias would certainly have called king of Assyria. Ctesias too can 
hardly have ascribed to her the obelisk at Babylon (Diod. 2, 11) ; so 
at least the addition of Diodorus, "that it belonged to the seven 
wonders," seems to me to prove. 

1 " Catasterism." c. 38; Hygin. " Astronom." 2, 41. In Diodorus 
Aphrodite, enraged by a maiden, Derceto, imbues her with a fierce 
passion for a youth. In shame she slays the youth, exposes the child, 
throws herself into the lake of Ascalon, and is changed into a fish. 
For this reason the image of the goddess Derceto at Ascalon has tho 
face of a woman and the body of a fish (2, 4). 

2 Diod. 2, 17, init. 


of her lovers ; 1 he told of her sensuality, of the designs 
of her sons by the first marriage, and the plot of 
Ninyas ; he recounted her end, which was as marvel- 
lous as her birth and her youth : she flew out of the 
palace up to heaven with a flock of doves. If the 
conquest of Egypt by Semiramis also belongs to Ctesias, 2 
the march through Libya, and the oracle given to her 
in the oasis of Ammon, together with the version of 
her death, which rests on this oracle (she caused her- 
self to disappear, i. e. put herself to death, in order to 
share in divine honours), belong to Clitarchus. 

If, therefore, we may regard it as an established fact 
that our narrative has not arisen out of Assyrian or Baby- 
lonian tradition, that the views and additions of Greek 
origin introduced into it leave the centre untouched ; 
if we have succeeded in discovering, to a tolerably 
satisfactory degree, the outlines of the narrative of 
Ctesias, the main question still remains to be 
answered : from what sources is this narrative to be 
derived ? In the first attempt to criticise this account 
we find ourselves astonished by the certainty of the 
statements, the minute and, in part, extremely vivid 
descriptions of persons and incidents. Not only the 
great prince who founded the power of Assyria, and 
the queen whose beauty and courage enchanted him, 
are known to Ctesias in their words and actions. 
He can mention by name the man who nurtured 
Semiramis as a girl, and her first husband. He 
knows the names of the princes of the Arabs, Medes, 
Bactrians, and Indians with whom Ninus and Semi- 
ramis had to do. The number of the forces set in 
motion against Bactria and India are given accurately 
according to the weapon used. The arrangements 
of the battle beyond the Indus, the progress of the 

1 Georg. Syncell. p. 119, ed. Bonn. 2 Diod. 1, 56. 



fight, the wounds carried away by Semiramis, the 
exchange of prisoners, are related with the fidelity 
of an eye-witness. Weight is obviously laid on the 
fact that after Semiramis had conquered and tra- 
versed Egypt and Ethiopia, after her unbroken success, 
the last great campaign against the Indians fails 
because she attacked them without receiving any pre- 
vious injury. The message which Stabrobates sends 
to her, the letter which he writes, the reproaches he 
makes upon her life, the minute details which Ctesias 
gives of the relation of Onnes to Semiramis, of the 
conspiracy of the sons by this marriage, who felt 
themselves dishonoured by the conduct of their now 
aged mother, of the letter of the Mede, whose fidelity 
discovered the plot to her, of the speeches which 
Semiramis made on this occasion, carry us back to a 
description at once vivid and picturesque. If we take 
these pictures together with the account of Ctesias 
about the decline of the Assyrian kingdom, in which 
also very characteristic details appear, if we consider the 
style and the whole tone of these accounts of the begin- 
ning and the end of the Assyrian kingdom, we cannot 
avoid the conclusion that Ctesias has either invented 
the whole narrative or followed a poetic source. 

The first inference is untenable, because the whole 
narrative bears the colour and stamp of the East in 
such distinctness that Ctesias cannot have invented it, 
and, on the other hand, it contains so much poetry 
that if Ctesias were the author of these descriptions 
we should have to credit him with high poetic gifts. 
We are, therefore, driven to adopt the second inference 
that a poetic source lies at the base of his account. 
If, as was proved above, neither Assyrian nor Baby- 
lonian traditions can be taken into consideration, 
Assyrian and Babylonian poems are by the same 


reasoning put out of the question. On the other hand, 
we find in Ctesias' history of the Medes episodes of at 
least equal poetic power with his narrative of Ninus 
and Semiramis. Plutarch tells us that the great deeds 
of Semiramis were praised in songs. 1 It is certain that 
they could not be the songs of Assyria, which had long 
since passed away, but we find, on the other hand, 
that there were minstrels at the court of the Medes, 
who sang to the kings at the banquet ; it is, moreover, 
a Mede who warns Semiramis against Hyapates and 
Hydaspes ; and the other names in the narrative of 
Ctesias bear the stamp of the Iranian language. 
Further, we find, not only in the fragments of Ctesias 
which have come down to us, but also in the narratives 
of Herodotus and other Greeks concerning the fortunes 
of the Medes and Persians down to the great war of 
Xerxes against the Hellenes, remains and traces of 
poems which can only have been sung amongst the 
Medes and Persians. We have, therefore, good grounds 
for assuming that it was Medo-Persian poems which 
could tell the story of Ninus and Semiramis, and that 
this part of the Medo-Persian poems was the source 
from which Ctesias drew. It was the contents of these 
poems recounted to him by Persians or Medes which he 
no doubt followed in this case, as in his further nar- 
ratives of Parsondes and Sparethra, of the rebellion and 
struggle of Cyrus against Astyages, just as Herodotus 
before him drew from such poems his account of the 
rebellion of the Magi, the death of Cambyses, and the 
conspiracy of the seven Persians. 

After severe struggles the princes and people of 
the Medes succeeded in casting down the Assyrian 
empire from the supremacy it had long maintained ; 
they conquered arid destroyed their old and supposed 

1 " De Iside," c. 24. 


impregnable metropolis. If the tribes of the Medes 
had previously been forced to bow before the Assy- 
rians, they took ample vengeance for the degrad- 
ation. Hence the Median minstrels had a most 
excellent reason to celebrate this crowning achievement 
of their nation ; it afforded them a most agreeable 
subject. If, in the earlier and later struggles of the 
Medes against Assyria, the bravery of individual heroes 
was often celebrated in song, these songs might by 
degrees coalesce into a connected whole, the close of 
which was the overthrow of the Assyrian empire. 
The Median poems which dealt with this most attract- 
ive material must have commenced with the rise of 
the Assyrian kingdom; they had the more reason for 
explaining and suggesting motives for this mighty 
movement, as it was incumbent on them to make 
intelligible the wreck of the resistance of their own 
nation to the onset of the Assyrians, and the previous 
subjection of Media. In these poems no doubt they 
described the cruelty of the conqueror, who crucified 
their king, with his wife and seven children (p. 3). 
The more brilliant, the more overpowering the might 
of Assyria, as they described it, owing to eminent 
sovereigns in the earliest times, the wider the extent 
of the empire, the more easily explained and tolerable 
became the subjection of the Medes, the greater the 
glory to have finally conquered. This final retribution 
formed the close ; the striking contrast of the former 
exaltation and subsequent utter overthrow, brought 
about by Median power and bravery, formed the centre 
of these poems. 

The prince of the Assyrians whose success is unfail- 
ing till he finds himself checked in Bactria, the woman 
of unknown origin found in the desert, fostered by 
herdsmen, and raised from the lowest to the most 


elevated position, 1 who in bravery surpasses the oravest, 
who outdoes the deeds of Ninus, whose charms allure 
to destruction every one who approaches her, who 
makes all whom she favours her slaves in order to 
slay them, who without regard to her years makes 
every youth her lover, and is, nevertheless, finally 
exalted to the gods are these forms due to the mere 
imagination of Medo-Persian minstrels, or what ma- 
terial lay at the base of these lively pictures ? 

The metropolis of the Assyrians was known to the 
Greeks as Ninus; in the inscriptions of the Assyrian 
kings it is called Ninua. From this the name of Ninus, 
the founder of the empire, as well as Ninyas, is obviously 
taken. In Herodotus a and the chronographers Ninus 
is the son of Belus, i. e. of Bel, the sky-god already 
known to us (I. 265). The monuments of Assyria show 
us that the Assyrians worshipped a female deity, which 
was at once the war-goddess and goddess of sexual 
love Istar-Bilit. Istar was not merely the goddess of 
battles bringing death and destruction, though also 
conferring victory ; she was at the same time the 
goddess of sensual love. We have already learned to 
know her double nature. In turn she sends life, 
pleasure, and death. If Istar of Arbela was the goddess 
of battle, Istar of Nineveh was the goddess of love 
(I. 270). As the goddess of love, doves were sacred to 
her. In the temples of Syria there were statues of this 
goddess with a golden 1 dove on the head ; she was 
even invoked there under the name of Semiramis, a 
word which may mean High name, Name of the 
Height. 3 

Thus the Medo-Persian minstrels have changed the 

i Diod. 2, 4, n#. 2 Herod. 1, 7. 

3 Lucian, " De Syria dea," c. 33, 14, 38. The name Semiramoth is 
found 1 Chronicles xv. 18, 20 ; xvi. 5 ; 2, xyii. 8. 


form and legend of a goddess who was worshipped in 
Assyria, whose rites were vigorously cultivated in 
Syria, into a heroine, the founder of the Assyrian 
empire; just as in the Greek and German epos 
divine beings have undergone a similar change. This 
heroine is the daughter of a maiden who slays the 
youth whom she has made happy with her love, who 
gave her her daughter, i. e. she is the daughter of the 
goddess herself. Like her mother, the goddess, the 
daughter, Semiramis, inspires men with irresistible 
love, and thus makes them her slaves. At the same 
time, as a war-goddess, she surpasses all men in 
martial courage, and brings death to all who have sur- 
rendered to her. The origin of the goddess thus 
transformed into a heroine is unknown and super- 
natural ; her characteristics are marvellous powers of 
victory and charms of love. The neighbourhood of 
Ascalon, where we found the oldest and most famous 
temples of the Syrian goddess of love (I. 360), was the 
scene of the origin of the miraculous child. The doves 
of the Syrian goddess nourish and protect her in the 
desert. She grows up in Syria, where the worship of 
the goddess of sexual love was widely spread. 
Whether Simmas, her foster-father, has arisen out of 
Samas, the sun-god of the Semites, and Onnes, the 
first husband of Semiramis, out of Anu, the god of 
Babel and Asshur, cannot indeed be decided. But in 
her relation to Onnes, whom her charm makes her 
slave, to whom she brings uninterrupted success, till 
in despair at her loss he takes his life, the Medo- 
Persian minstrels describe the glamour of love and 
the sensual pleasure, as well as the destruction which 
proceeds from her, in the liveliest and most forcible 
manner. Even after the Indian campaign she indulges 
her passions, and then puts those to death to whom she 


grants her favours. In this life the poems found a 
motive for the plots of her sons, from which she was 
at first rescued by the fidelity of a Mede, a trait 
which again reveals the origin of the poem. As 
Semiramis was a heroine merely, and not a goddess, t 
the minstrels, they could represent her overthrow, her 
defeat and wounds, on the Indus, which afterwards 
was the limit of the conquests of the Medians and 
Persians. At the end of her life the higher style 
reappears, the supernatural origin comes in once more. 
She flies out of the palace with the doves of Bilit, which 
protected her childhood. In Ctesias the goddess of 
Ascalon is Derceto, 1 and therefore later writers could 
maintain that the kings of Assyria, the descendants or 
successors of Semiramis, were named Dercetadae. 2 

1 Ctesias in Strabo, p. 785. 2 AgatHas, 2, 24. 



To relegate Ninus and Semiramis with all their works 
and deeds to the realm of fiction may appear to 
be a startling step, going beyond the limits of a 
prudent criticism. Does not Ctesias state accurately 
the years of the reigns : Ninus reigned, according to his 
statement, 52 years ; Semiramis was 62 years old, and 
reigned 42 years ? Do not the chronographers assure 
us that in Otesias the successors of Ninus and Semi- 
ramis, from Ninyas to Sardanapalus, the last ruler over 
Assyria, 34 kings, were enumerated, and the length of 
their reigns accurately given, and has not Eusebius 
actually preserved this list ? Since, at the same time, 
we find out, through Diodorus and the chronographers, 
as well as through this list, that Ctesias fixed the 
continuance of the Assyrian kingdom at more than 
1300 years, or more exactly at 1306, and the fall of 
the kingdom took place according to his reckoning in 
the year 883 B.C., Ninus must on these dates have 
ascended the throne in the year 2189 B.C. (883 + 1306), 
and the reign of Semiramis commenced in 2137 B.C. 
(883 + 1254). Eusebius himself puts the accession of 
Ninus at 2057 B.C. 1 

1 Diod.2,21; Euseb. "Chron." l,p.56; 2, p. ll.ed.Schone; Syncellus, 
"Chron." 1, 313, 314, ed. Bonn; Brandis, "Eer. Assyr. temper, 
emend." p. 13 seq. 


If in spite of these accurate statements we persist in 
refusing to give credit to Ctesias, Berosus remains, 
who, according to the evidence of the chronographers, 
dealt with the rule of Semiramis over Assyria. After 
mentioning the dynasty of the Medes which reigned 
over Babylon from 2458 2224 B.C., the dynasty of 
the Elamites (22241976 B.C.), of the Chaldaeans 
(1976 1518 B.C.), and of the Arabs, who are said to 
have reigned over Babylon from the year 1518 to the 
year 1273 B.C., Berosus mentioned the rule of Semi- 
ramis over the Assyrians. " After this," so we find it 
in Polyhistor, "Berosus enumerates the names of 45 
kings separately, and allotted to them 526 years. 
After them there was a king of the Chaldaeans named 
Phul, and after him Sennacherib, the king of the 
Assyrians, whose son, Esarhaddon, then reigned in his 
place." 1 If we take these 45 kings for kings of Assyria, 
who ruled over this kingdom after Semiramis, then, by 
allowing the supplements of these series of kings previ- 
ously mentioned (I. 247), the era of these 45 kings will 
begin in the year 1273 B.C. and end in 747 B.C., and 
the date of Semiramis will fall immediately before the 
year 1273 B.C. In the view of Herodotus, Ninus was 
at the head of the Assyrian empire, but not Semiramis. 
As already observed (p. 14), he mentions Semiramis as 
a queen of Babylon, and does not place her higher 
than the middle of the seventh century B.c; 2 but he 
regards the dominion of Assyria over Upper Asia as 
commencing far earlier. Before the Persians the 
Medes ruled over Asia for 156 years ; before them the 
Assyrians ruled for 520 years ; the Medes were the 
first of the subject nations who rebelled against the 
Assyrians ; the rest of the nations followed their 
example. As the Median empire fell before the attack 

Euseb. " Chron." 1, p. 26, ed. Schone.- * 1, 184, 187. 


of the Persians in 558 B.C., the beginning of the 
Median empire would fall in the year 714 B.C. 
(558 + 156), and consequently the beginning of the 
Assyrian kingdom in the year 1234 B.C. (714 + 520), 
i. e. four or five decades later than Berosus puts the 
death of Semiramis. For the date of the beginning of 
the Assyrian dominion Herodotus and Berosus would 
thus be nearly in agreement. It has been assumed 
that the 45 kings whom the latter represents as follow- 
ing Semiramis were kings of Assyria, who ruled at the 
same time over Babylon, and were thus regarded as a 
Babylonian dynasty. This agreement would be the 
more definite if it could be supposed that, accord- 
ing to the view of Herodotus, the beginning of the 
156 years which he gives to the Median empire was 
separated by an interval of some decades from the 
date of their liberation from the power of the Assyr- 
ians. In this case the empire of the Assyrians over 
Asia would not have commenced very long before the 
year 1273 B.C., and would have extended from that 
date over Babylonia. In complete contradiction to 
this are the statements of Ctesias, which carry us back 
beyond 2000 B.C. for the commencement of the As- 
syrian empire. They cannot be brought into harmonA 
with the statements of Herodotus, even if the timf. 
allotted by Ctesias to the Assyrian empire (1306 years) 
is reckoned from the established date of the conquest 
of Nineveh by the Medes and Babylonians (607 B.C.). 
The result of such a calculation (607 + 1306) carries us 
back to 1913 B.C., a date far higher than Herodotus 
and Berosus give. 

Is it possible in any other way to approach more 
closely to the beginning of the Assyrian kingdom, the 
date of its foundation, or the commencement of its 
conquests ? We have already seen how the Pharaohs 


of Egypt, after driving out the shepherds in the six- 
teenth and fifteenth centuries B.C., reduced Syria to 
subjection ; how the first and third Tuthmosis, the 
second and third Amenophis, forced their way beyond 
Syria to Naharina. The land of Naharina, in the 
inscriptions of these kings, was certainly not the Aram 
Naharaim, the high land between the Euphrates and 
Tigris, in the sense of the books of the Hebrews. It 
was not Mesopotamia, but simply "the land of the 
stream (Nahar)." For the Hebrews also Nahar, i. e. 
river, means simply the Euphrates. It has been already 
shown that the arms of the Egyptians hardly went 
beyond the Chaboras to the east ; and if the inscrip- 
tions of Tuthmosis III. represent him as receiving on 
his sixth campaign against the Syrians, i. e. about the 
year 1584 B.C., the tribute of Urn Assuru, i. e. of the 
chieftain of Asshur, consisting of 50 minseof lapis-lazuli; 
if these inscriptions in the year 1579 once more men- 
tion among the tribute of the Syrians the tribute of 
this prince in lapis-lazuli, cedar-trunks, and other 
wood, it is still uncertain whether the chief of the 
Assyrians is to be understood by this prince. Had 
Tuthmosis III. really reached and crossed the Tigris, 
were Assuru Assyria, then from the description of 
this prince, and the payment of tribute in lapis-lazuli 
and cedar- trunks, we could draw the conclusion that 
Assyria in the first half of the sixteenth century 
B.C. was still in the commencement of its civilisation, 
whereas we found above that as early as the beginning 
of the twentieth century B.C. Babylonia was united 
into a mighty kingdom, and had made considerable 
advance in the development of her civilisation. 

Our hypothesis was that the Semites, who took 
possession of the valley of the Euphrates, were immi- 
grants from the south, from Arabia, and that this new 


population forced its way by successive steps up the 
river-valley. We were able to establish the fact 
that the earliest governments among the immigrants 
were formed on the lower course of the Euphrates, 
and that the centre of the state in these regions 
slowly moved upwards towards Babel. We found, 
further, that Semitic tribes went in this direction as 
far as the southern slope of the Armenian table-land. 1 
In this way the region on the Tigris, afterwards called 
Assyria, was reached and peopled by the Semites. 
With the Hebrews Asshur, beside Arphaxad and 
Aram, beside Elam and Lud, is the seed of Shem. 
" From Shinar " (i. e. from Babylonia), we are told 
in Genesis, " Asshur went forth and built Nineveh, 
and Kehoboth-Ir, and Chalah, and Resen between 
Nineveh and Chalah, which is the great city." There 
is no reason to call in question this statement that 
Assyria was peopled and civilised from Babylonia. 
Language, writing, and religion exhibit the closest 
relationship and agreement between Babylonia and 

On the west bank of the Tigris, some miles above 
the confluence of the Lesser Zab, at the foot of a ridge 
of hills, lie the remains of an ancient city. The stamps 
on the tiles of these ruins tell us that the name of the 
city was Asshur. Tiglath Pilesar, a king of Assyria, 
the first of the name, whose reign, though we cannot 
fix the date precisely, may certainly be put about the 
year 1110 B.C., narrates in his inscriptions : The tem- 
ple of the gods Ami and Bin, which Samsi-Bin, the 
son of Ismidagon, built at Asshur 641 years previously, 
had fallen down ; King Assur-dayan had caused the 
ruins to be removed without rebuilding it. For 60 
years the foundations remained untouched ; he, Tiglath 

i Vol. i. 512. 


Pilesar, restored this ancient sanctuary. Tiles from this 
ruin on the Tigris, from this city of Asshur, establish 
also the fact that a prince named Samsi-Bin, son of 
Ismidagon, once ruled and built in this city of Asshur. 
They have the inscription : " Samsi-Bin, the son of 
Ismidagon, built the temple of the god Asshur." 1 
Hence Samsi-Bin built temples in the city of Asshur to 
the god Asshur as well as to the gods Anu and Bin. 
His date falls, according as the 60 years of the inscrip- 
tion of Tiglath Pilesar, during which the temple of 
Anu and Bin was not in existence, are added to the 
space of 641 years or included in them, either about 
the year 1800 or 1740 B.C.; the date of his father 
Ismidagon about the year 1830 or 1770 B.C. 

In any case it is clear that a place of the name of 
Asshur, the site of which is marked by the ruins of 
Kileh-Shergat, was inhabited about the year 1800 
B.C., and that about this time sanctuaries were raised 
in it. The name of the place was taken from the 
god specially worshipped there. As Babel (Gate of 
El) was named after the god El, Asshur was named 
after the god of that name. The city was Asshur's 
city, the land Asshur's land. Beside the city of 
Asshur, about 75 miles up the Tigris, there must have 
been at the time indicated a second place of the name 
of Ninua (Nineveh), the site of which is marked by the 
ruins of Kuyundshik and Nebbi Yunus (opposite 
Mosul), since, according to the statement of Shalmanesar 
I., king of Assyria, Samsi-Bin built another temple 
here to the goddess Istar. 2 Ifemidagon, as well as 
Samsi-Bin, is called in the inscription of Tiglath 
Pilesar I. " Patis of Asshur." The meaning of this 
title is not quite clear; the word is said to mean 
viceroy. If by this title a vice-royalty over the land 

1 Menant, " Annal." p. 18. 8 G. Smith, "Discov" p. 249. 


of Asshur is meant, we may assume that Assyria was a 
colony of Babylonia that it was under the supremacy 
of the kings of Babylon, and ruled by their viceroys. 
But since at a later period princes of Assyria called 
themselves "Patis of Asshur," as well as "kings of 
Asshur," the title may be explained as meaning that 
the old princes of Assyria called themselves viceroys 
of the god of the land, of the god Asshur. More- 
over, it would be strange that a colony of Babylonia, 
which was under the supremacy of that country, should 
make its protecting god a deity different from that 
worshipped in Babylonia. 

From this evidence we may assume that about the 
year 1800 B.C. a state named Asshur grew up between 
the Tigris and the Lesser Zab. This state must have 
passed beyond the lower stages of civilisation at the 
time when the princes erected temples to their gods at 
more than one chief place in their dominions, when they 
could busy themselves with buildings in honour of the 
gods after the example of the ancient princes of Erech 
and Nipur, of Hammurabi, and his successors at 
Babylon. With this result the statements in the 
inscriptions of Tuthmosis III. do not entirely agree. 
Two hundred years after the time of Ismidagon and 
Samsi-Bin they speak only of the chief of Asshur, and 
of tribute in lapis-lazuli and tree-trunks ; but this 
divergence is not sufficient to make us affirm with cer- 
tainty that the " Assuru " of Tuthmosis has no refer- 
ence whatever to Assyria. If we were able to place the 
earliest formation of a state on the Lower Euphrates 
about the year 2500 B.C., the beginnings of Assyria, 
according to the inferences to be drawn from the evi- 
dence of the first Tiglath Pilesar and the tiles of 
Kileh-Shergat, could not be placed later than the year 
2000 B.C. 


Beside Ismidagon and Samsi-Bin, the inscriptions 
of Tiglath Pilesar and the tiles of the ruins of Kileh- 
Shergat mention four or five other names of princes who 
belong to the early centuries of the Assyrian empire, 
but for whom we cannot fix any precise place. The 
date of the two kings, who on Assyrian tablets are 
the contemporaries of Binsumnasir of Babylon, Assur- 
nirar, and Nabudan, could not have been fixed with 
certainty if other inscriptions had not made us 
acquainted with the princes who ruled over Assyria 
in succession from 1460 1280 B.C. 1 From these we may 
assume that Assur-nirar and Nabudan must have reigned 
before this series of princes, i. e. before 1460 B.C., from 
which it further follows that from about the year 1500 
B.C. onwards Assyria was in any case an independent 
state beside Babylon. We found above that the treaty 
which Assur-bil-nisi, king of Assyria, concluded about 
the year 1450 B.C. with Karaindas, king of Babylon, for 
fixing the boundaries, must have been preceded by 
hostile movements on the part of both kingdoms. We 
saw that Assur-bil-nisi's successor, Busur-Assur, con- 
cluded a treaty with the same object with Purnapuryas 
of Babylon, and that Assur-u-ballit, who succeeded 
Busur-Assur on the throne of Assyria, gave his 
daughter in marriage to Purnapuryas. In order to 
avenge the murder of Karachardas, the son of Purna- 
puryas by this marriage, who succeeded his father on 
the throne of Babylon, Assur-u-ballit invaded Baby- 
lonia and placed Kurigalzu, another son of Purna- 
puryas, on the throne. We might assume that about 
this time, i. e. about 1400 B.C., the borders of Assyria 

1 The date of Tiglath Adar is fixed by the statement of Sennacherib 
that he lost his seal to the Babylonians 600 years before Sennacherib 
took Babylon, i. e. about the year 1300 B.C. As the series of seven 
kings who reigned before Tiglath Adar is fixed, Assur-bil-nisi, the first 
of these, can be placed about 1460 B.C. if we allow 20 years to each. 


and Babylonia touched eacli other in the neighbourhood 
of the modern Aker-Kuf, the ancient Dur-Kurigalzu. 1 
Assur-u-ballit, who restored the temple of Istar at 
Nineveh which Samsi-Bin had built, was followed by 
Pudiel, Bel-nirar, and Bin-nirar. 2 The last tells us, 
on a stone of Kileh-Shergat, that Assur-u-ballit con- 
quered the land of Subari, Bel-nirar the army of Kassi, 
that Pudiel subjugated all the land as far as the distant 
border of Guti; he himself overcame the armies of 
Kassi, G-uti, Lulumi and Subari ; the road to the 
temple of the god Asshur, his lord, which had fallen 
down, he restored with earth and tiles, and set up his 
tablet with his name, "on the twentieth day of the 
month Muhurili, in the year of Salmanurris." 3 

Bin-nirar's son and successor was Shalmanesar I., 
who ascended the throne of Assyria about 1340 B.C. 
We learnt above from Genesis, that " Asshur built the 
cities of Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Resen and Ohalah." 
Assur-nasirpal, who ruled over Assyria more than 400 
years after Shalmanesar L, tells us that "Shalmanesar 
the mighty, who lived before him, founded the ancient 
city of Chalah." 4 It is thus clear that Assyria before 
the year 1300 B.C. obtained a third residence in addi- 
tion to the cities of Asshur and Nineveh. Like Asshur 
and Nineveh, it lay on the banks of the Tigris, about 
50 miles to the north of Asshur, and 25 to the south 
of Nineveh. It was not, however, like Asshur, situated 
on the western bank of the river, but on the eastern, 

i Vol. i. p. 262. 

8 This series, Pudiel, Bel-nirar and Bin-nirar, is established by 
tiles of Kileh-Shergat, and the fact that it joins on to Assur-u-ballit, 
by the tablet of Biii-nirar discovered by G. Smith, in which he calls 
himself great grandson of Assur-u-ballit, grandson of Bel-nirar, and 
son of Pudiel; G. Smith, " Discov." p. 244. 

3 G. Smith, " Discov." pp. 244, 245. 

* E. Schrader, " Keilinschriften und A. T." s. 20; "Records of 
the Past," 7, 17. 


like Nineveh, a little above the junction of the Upper 
Zab, in a position protected by both rivers, and thus 
far more secure than Asshur. Shalmanesar also built 
in both the old residences of Asshur and Nineveh. 
Tiles of Kileh-Shergat bear the stamp, " Palace of 
Shalmanesar, son of king Bin-nirar." * His buildings 
in Nineveh are certified by an inscription, in. which 
Shalmanesar says : "The temple of Istar, which Sarnsi- 
Bin, the prince who was before me, built, and which 
my predecessor Assur-u-ballit restored, had fallen into 
decay in the course of time. I built it up again from 
the ground to the roof. The prince who comes after me 
and sees my cylinder (p. 37), and sets it again in its 
place, as T have set the cylinder of Assur-u-ballit in its 
place, him may Istar bless ; but him who destroys my 
monument may Istar curse and root his name and 
race out of the land." 2 In the same inscription Shal- 
manesar calls himself conqueror of Niri, Lulumi and 
Musri, districts for which at any rate for the two last 
we shall have to look in the neighbourhood of Nineveh, 
in the chain of the Zagrus. The son of Shalmanesar I. 
was Tiglath Adar; he completed the restoration of 
the temple of Istar at Nineveh, and fought with such 
success against Nazimurdas of Babylon that he placed 
on his seal this inscription : " Tiglath Adar, king of 
the nations, son of Shalmanesar, king of Asshur, has 
conquered the land of Kardunias." But he afterwards 
lost this very seal to the Babylonians, who placed it as 
a trophy in the treasure-house of Babylon (about 
1300 B.C.). 3 

1 MSnant, " Aniial." p. 73. 2 G. Smith, foe. eft. p. 249. 

3 G-. Smith, loc. cit. p. 250; E. Schrader, "A. 15. Keilinschriften," 3. 
294. As Sennacherib states that he brought back this seal from 
Babylon after 600 years, and as Sennacherib took Babylon twice in 
704 and 694 B.C., the loss of it falls either in the year 1304 or 129 1 
B.C. As he brings back the Assyrian images of the gods at th n secon 1 


These are the beginnings of the Assyrian kingdom 
according to the indications of the monuments. After 
the series of kings from Assur-bil-nisi to Tiglath Adar, 
whose dates come down from about the year 1460 to 
about 1280 B.C., there is a gap in our knowledge of some 
decades. After this we hear at first of new struggles 
with Babylon. In these Belkudurussur of Assyria 
(about 1220 B.C.) lost his life. The Babylonians, led by 
their king, Binpaliddin, invaded Assyria with a numer- 
ous army in order to take the city of Asshur. But Adar- 
palbitkur, the successor of Belkudurussur, succeeded in 
forcing them to retire to Babylon. 1 Of Adarpalbitkur 
his fourth successor proudly declares that " he was the 
protector of the might of Asshur, that he put an end 
to his weakness in his land, that he arranged well the 
army of the land of Assyria." 2 His son, Assur-dayan 
(about 1180 B.C) was able to remove the war again 

capture (694 B.C.), the seal of Tiglath Adar may have been brought 
back on this occasion. 

1 G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 250. 

2 So the passage runs according to a communication from E. Schrader. 
On the reading Adarpalbitkur as against the readings Ninpalazira and 
Adarpalassar, see E. Schrader, " A. B. Keilinschriften," a. 152. On 
what Menant (" Annal." p. 29) grounds the assumption that Belku- 
durussur was the immediate successor of Tiglath Adar I cannot say; 
it would not be chronologically impossible, but the synchronistic 
tablet merely informs us that Adarpalbitkur was the successor of 
Belkudurussur; GK Rawlinson, " Mon." 2, 49. Still less am I able to 
find any foundation for the statement that Binpaliddin of Babylon, 
the opponent of Belkudurussur and Adarpalbitkur, was a vassal-king 
set up by Assyria. The date of Tiglath Pilesar I. is fixed by the 
Bavian inscription, which tells us that Sennacherib at his second 
capture of Babylon brought back out of that city the images of the 
gods lost by Tiglath Pilesar 418 years previously (Bav. 43 50), at the 
period between 1130 and 1100 B.C. If he began to reign 1130, then the 
five kings before him (the series from Adarpalbitkur to Tiglath Pilesar is 
fixed by the cylinder of the latter), allowing 20 years to each reign, 
bring us to 1230 B.C. for the beginning of Belkudurussur. To go 
back further seems the more doubtful, as Tiglath Pilesar put Assur- 
dayan, the third prince of this series, only 60 years before his own 


into the land of Babylonia ; he claims to have carried 
the booty from three places in Babylonia Zab, Irriya 
and Agarsalu to Assyria. 1 It was he who had carried 
away the ruins of the fallen temple which Samsi-Bin 
had built at Asshur to Anu and Bin, but had not 
erected it again. According to the words of his great- 
grandson, "he carried the exalted sceptre, and pros- 
pered the nation of Bel ; the work of his hands and 
the gifts of his fingers pleased the great gods; he 
attained great age and long life." 2 Of Assur-dayan's 
son and successor, Mutakkil-Nebu (about 1160 B.C.), 
we only find that " Asshur, the great lord, raised him 
to the throne, and upheld him in the constancy of his 
heart." 3 Mutakkil-Nebu's son, Assur-ris-ilim (between 
1150 and 1130 B.C.) had to undergo severe struo-o-les 

/ o oo 

against the Babylonians, who repeatedly invaded 
Assyria under Nebuchadnezzar I. At length Assur- 
ris-ilim succeeded in repulsing Nebuchadnezzar, and 
took from him 40 (50) chariots of war with a banner. 
Tiglath Pilesar, the son of Assur-ris-ilim, says of the 
deeds of his father, doubtless with extreme exaggera- 
tion, "he conquered the lands of the enemy, and sub- 
jugated all the hostile lands." 4 

The tiles of a heap of ruins *at Asshur bear the 
inscription, " Tiglath Pilesar, the favoured of Asshur, 
has built and set up the temple of his lord the god 
Bin." At the four corners of the foundation walls of 
this building were discovered four octagonal cylinders 
of clay, about a foot and a half in height, on the 
inscriptions of which this king repeats the narrative of 
the deeds of the first five years of his life. He restored 

1 Sayce, " Records of the Past," 3, 31 j M6nant, loc. cit. p. 31. 

2 Communication from E. Schrader. 

3 Of. G. Smith, loc. cit. p. 251. 

* Vol. L p. 263 ; Me"nant, loc. cit. p. 32. 



the royal dwelling-places and the fortresses of the 
land which were in a bad condition, and planted again 
the forests of the land of Asshur; he renovated the 
habitation of the gods, the temples of Istar and Bilit 
in the city of Asshur. At the beginning of his 
reign Ami and Bin, his lords, had bidden him set up 
again the temple which Samsi-Bin had once built 
for them. This he accomplished ; he caused the two 
great deities to enter into their high dwelling-places 
and rejoiced the heart of their great divinity. " May 
Anu and Bin grant me prosperity for ever, may they 
bless the work of my hands, may they hear my prayer 
and lead me to victory in war and in fight, may they 
subdue to my dominion all the lands which rise up 
against me, the rebellious nations and the princes, my 
rivals, may they accept my sacrificial offerings for the 
continuance and increase of my race ; may it be the 
will of Asshur and the great gods to establish my race 
as firm as the mountains to the remotest days." 1 

These cylinders tell us of the campaign of Tiglath 
Pilesar. First he defeated 20,000 Moschi (Muskai) 
and their five kings. He marched against the land 
of Kummukh, which rebelled against him ; even 
that part of the inhabitants which fled into a city 
beyond the Tigris which they had garrisoned he over- 
came after crossing the Tigris. He also conquered 
the people of Kurkhie (Kirkhie) who came to their 
help ; he drove them into the Tigris and the river 
Nami, and took prisoner in the battle Kiliantaru, 
whom they had made their king ; he conquered the 
land of Kummukh throughout its whole extent and 
incorporated it with Assyria. 2 After this he marched 
against the laud of Kurkhie ; next he crossed the 

1 Menant, " Annal." pp. 47, 48. 
a Column, 1, 62, seqq., 1, 89. 


Lower Zab and overcame two districts there. Then 
he turned against the princes of the land of Nairi (he 
puts the number of these at 23) ; these, and the 
princes who came from the upper sea to aid them, he 
conquered, carried off their flocks, destroyed their cities, 
and imposed on them a tribute of 1200 horses and 2000 
oxen. These battles in the north were followed by a 
campaign in the west. He invaded the land of Aram, 
which knew not the god Asshur, his lord ; 1 he marched 
against the city of Karkamis, in the land of the Chatti ; 
he defeated their warriors on the east of the Euphrates ; 
he crossed the Euphrates in pursuit of the fugitives and 
there destroyed six cities. Immediately after this the 
king marched again to the East, against the lands of 
Khumani and Musri and imposed tribute upon them. 

" Two-and-forty lands and their princes/' so the 
cylinders inform us, "from the banks of the Lower 
Zab as far as the bank of the Euphrates, the land of the 
Chatti, and the upper sea of the setting sun, all these 
my hand has reached since my accession; one after 
the other I have subjugated them; I have received 
hostages from them and laid tribute upon them." 2 
" This temple of Anu and Bin and these towers," so 
the inscription of the cylinders concludes, " will grow 
old ; he who in the succession of the days shall be 
king in my place at a remote time, may he restore 
them and place his name beside mine, then will Anu 
and Bin grant to him prosperity, joy and success in 
his undertakings. But he who hides my tablets, and 
erases or destroys them, or puts his name in the place 
of mine, him will Anu and Bin curse, his throne will 
they bring down, and break the power of his dominion, 
and cause his army to flee ; Bin will devote his land to 
destruction, and will spread over it poverty, hunger, 

1 Column, 5, 44. a Column, 6, 39. 


sickness, and death, and destroy his name and his race 
from the earth. On the twenty-ninth day of Kisallu, 
in the year of In-iliya-allik." 1 

In memory of his achievements against the land of 
Nairi, Tiglath Pilesar also set up a special monument. 
On a rock at one of the sources of the Eastern Tigris 
near Karkar we see his image hewn in relief. He 
wears the tall cap or kidaris ; the hair and beard are 
long and curled; the robe falls in deep folds to the 
ancles. The inscription runs : " By the grace of 
Asshur, Samas and Bin, the great gods, my lords, I, 
Tiglath Pilesar, am ruler from the great sea of the west 
land (mat acharri] to the lake of the land of Nairi. 
Three times I have marched to the land of Nairi." 2 
The first subjugation of this district could not, there- 
fore, have been complete. 

As this monument proves, Tiglath Pilesar's campaigns 
could not have ended with the fifth year of his reign. 
From the synchronistic tablets we can ascertain that 
he had to undergo severe struggles with the Babylo- 
nians. Marduk-nadin-akh of Babylon invaded Assyria, 
crossed the Tigris, and the battle took place on the 
Lower Zab. In the next year, according to the same 
tablets, Tiglath Pilesar is said to have taken the border- 
fortresses of Babylon, Dur-Kurigalzu, Sippara, Babili 
and Upi (Opis ?). 3 However this may be, Tiglath 
Pilesar in the end was at a disadvantage in his contest 
with the Babylonians. Sennacherib, king of Assyria, 
tells us, " The gods of the city Hekali, which Marduk- 
nadin-akh, king of the land of Accad, had taken in the 
time of Tiglath Pilesar, king of Asshur, and carried to 
Babylon 418 years previously, I have caused to be 

1 Menant, loc. cit. p. 48. 

2 Vol. i. p. 519 ; E. Sclirader, " Keilinscliriften xmd A. T." s. 16. 
8 M&iant, loc. cit. p. 51. 


brought back again from Babylon and put up again in 
their place." A Babylonian tablet from the tenth year 
of Marduk-nadin-akh of Babylon appears to deal with 
loans on conquered Assyrian territory. 1 

When Tiglath Pilesar ascended the throne about the 
year 1130 B.C. the empire of Assyria, as his inscrip- 
tions show, had not as yet made any extensive con- 
quests beyond the circle of the native country. The 
Muskai, i. e. the Moschi, whom we have found on the 
north-western slopes of the Armenian mountains, 
against whom Tiglath Pilesar first fought, had forced 
their way, as the cylinders tell us, into the land of 
Kummukh. 2 As the inhabitants of the land of 
Kummukh are conquered on the Tigris and forced into 
it, while others escape over the Tigris and defend a 
fortified city on the further side of the river, as the 
land itself is then incorporated with Assyria, we must 
obviously look for it at no great distance to the north 
on both shores of the Upper Tigris. We shall hardly be 
in error, therefore, if we take this land to be the district 
afterwards called Gumathene, on the Tigris, which 
Ammianus describes as a fruitful and productive land, 
i. e. as the canton of Amida. 3 The next conflicts of 
Tiglath Pilesar took place on the Lower Zab, i. e. at 
the south-eastern border of the Assyrian country. 
Further to the south, on the Zagrus, perhaps in the 
district of Chalonitis, or between the Lower Zab and 
the Adhim, or at any rate to the east, we must look for 
the land of Khumani and the land of Musri. The 
image at Karkar, Tiglath Pilesar's monument of victory, 

1 Vol. i. p. 263 ; Bavian Inscrip. 48 50 ; Menant, " Annal." pp. 
52, 236. Inscription on the black basalt-stone in Oppert et Meaant, 
"Documents juridiques," p. 98. Is the name of the witness (col. 2, 
27), Sar-babil-assur-issu (p. 115), correctly explained by "The king 
of Babel has conquered Asshur " ? 

2 Col. 1, 62. 3 Ammian. Marcell. 18, 9. 


gives us information about the position of the land of 
Nam. It comprises the mountain cantons between the 
Eastern Tigris and the upper course of the Great Zab, 
where that river traverses the land of Arrapachitis 
(Albak). The lake of the land of Nairi, to which the 
inscription of Karkar extends the rule of Tiglath Pilesar, 
and the upper sea from which auxiliaries come to the 
princes of the land of Nairi, are both, no doubt, Lake 
Van. The inhabitants of Nairi are not like those of 
the land of Kummukh, incorporated with Assyria, they 
have merely to pay a moderate tribute in horses and 
oxen. The campaign of Tiglath Pilesar against Karkamis 
(Karchemish) proves that the dominion of Assyria 
before his reign did not reach the Euphrates. He 
marches against the land of Aram and has then to 
fight with the army of Karchemish on this side, i. e. on 
the east side of the Euphrates ; the results which he 
obtained on this campaign to the west of the Euphrates 
he does not himself rate very highly. We saw that in 
the end he remained at a disadvantage in his contest 
with Babylon. On the other hand, in campaigns 
which took place in years subsequent to the attempt 
against Karchemish, he must have forced his way 
to the west far beyond the Euphrates, in order to 
be able to boast on the monument at Karkar " that 
he ruled from the sea of Nairi as far as the great 
sea of the west land," i. e. to the Mediterranean. 
Hence we have to assume that he went forth from 
Karchemish westwards almost as far as the mouth of 
the Orontes. We should be more accurately informed 
on this matter if the fragment of an inscription on an 
obelisk beside an inscription of Assurnasirpal, who 
reigned more than 200 years after Tiglath Pilesar, 
could be referred to Tiglath Pilesar. The fragment 
speaks in the third person of the booty gained in 


hunting by a king, which is given in nearly the same 
totals as the results of Tiglath Pilesar's hunts on his 
cylinders. These represent him as slaying 120 lions 
and capturing 800. The fragment speaks of 120 and 
800 lions, of Amsi killed in Charran on the Chabor, 
of Eim whom the king slew before the land of Chatti 
at the foot of Mount Labnani (Lebanon), of a crocodile 
(nasukfi) which the king of Musri sent as a present. 
The hunter, it is said, ruled from the city of Babylon, 
in the land of Accad, as far as the land of the west 
(mat ac/iarrij. 1 

According to the inscriptions on the cylinders the 
land of Aram lies to the east of the Euphrates ; the 
city of Karchemish lies on the west bank in the land ot 
the Chatti. The Chatti are the Hittites of the Hebrews, 
the Cheta of the Egyptians. We found that the 
inscriptions of Sethos and Ramses II. extended the 
name of the Cheta as far as the Euphrates (I. 151, 
152). But although the kingdom of the Hittites had 
fallen two centuries before Tiglath Pilesar crossed 
the Euphrates, the name still clung to this region, as 
the inscriptions of Tiglath Pilesar and his successors 
prove, more especially to the region from Hamath and 
Damascus as far as Lebanon. The land of the west 
(mat acharri) in the strict sense is, of course, to the 
Assyrians, from their point of view, the coast of Syria. 
Whatever successes Tiglath Pilesai' may have gained 
in this direction, they were of a transitory nature. 

The first of his sons to succeed him was Assur-bel- 
kala, whose reign we may fix in the years 1100 1080 
B.c. With three successive kings of Babylon, Marduk- 
sapik-kullat, Saduni (?), and Nebu-zikir-iskun, he 

1 Araziki cannot be taken for Aradus, the name of which city on the 
obelisk and in the inscriptions of Assurnasirpal, Shalmanesar, and 
elsewhere is Arvadu. 


came into contact, peaceful or hostile. With the first 
he 'made a treaty of peace, with Saduni he carried on 
war, with Nebu-zikir-iskun he again concluded a 
peace, which fixed the borders. This was confirmed 
by intermarriage ; l Assur - bel - kala married his 
daughter to Nebu-zikir-iskun, while the latter gave his 
daughter to Assur-bel-kala. Of the exploits of his 
successor, Samsi-Bin II. (1080 1060 B.C.), a second 
son of Tiglath Pilesar, we have no account. 2 We 
cannot maintain with certainty whether Assur-rab- 
amar, of whom Shalmanesar II. tells us that he lost 
two cities on the Euphrates which Tiglath Pilesar had 
taken, 3 was the direct successor of Samsi-Bin. 

After this, for the space of more than 100 years 
(1040 930), there is again a gap in our knowledge. 
Not till we reach Assur-dayan II., who ascended 
the throne of Assyria about the year 930 B.C., can we 
again follow the series of the Assyrian kings downwards 
without interruption. This Assur-dayan II. is followed 
by Bin-nirar II., about 900 ; Bin-nirar, by Tiglath Adar 
II. , who reigned from 889 883 B.C. He had to con- 
tend once more against the land of Nairi, i. e. against 
the region between the Eastern Tigris and the upper 
course of the Upper Zab. As a memorial of the 
successes which he gained here he caused his image 
to be carved beside that of Tiglath Pilesar in the rocks 
at Karkar (see below). Besides this, there is in exist- 
ence from his time a pass, i. e. a small tablet, with the 
inscription, " Permission to enter into the palace of 

1 Sayce, "Records," 3, 33; M^nant, "Annal."p. 53; " Babylone," 
pp. 129, 130. 

2 According to G. Smith ("Discov." p. 91, 252) this Samsi-Bin II. 
restored the temple of Istar at Nineveh which Samsi-Bin I. had built 
(above, p. 3). 

8 Inscription of Kurkh, " Records of the Past," 3, 93 ; Meuant, 
' Annal." p. 55. 


Tiglath Adar, king of the land of Asshur, son of Bin- 
nirar, king of the land of Asshur." l 

Neither at the commencement nor in the course of 
the history of Assyria do the monuments know of a 
king Ninus, a queen Semiramis, or of any warlike 
queen of this kingdom ; they do not even mention any 
woman as standing independently at the head of 
Assyria. Once, it is true, we find the name Semiramis 
in the inscriptions in the form Sammuramat. Sam- 
muramat was the wife of king Bin-nirar III., who 
ruled over Assyria from the year 810 781 B.C. On 
the pedestal of two statues, which an officer of this 
king, the prefect of Chalah, dedicated to the god Nebo, 
the inscription is : " To Nebo, the highest lord of his 
lords, the protector of Bin-nirar, king of Asshur, and 
protector of Sammuramat, the wife of the palace, his 
lady." The name of Ninyas is quite unknown to the 
monuments, and of the names of the 33 kings which 
Ctesias gives, with their names and reigns as successors 
of Ninyas down to the overthrow of the kingdom 
and Sardanapalus (p. 26), unless we identify the last 
name in the list, that of Sardanapalus, with the Assur- 
banipal of the inscriptions, i. e. with the ruler last 
but one or two according to the records, no single one 
agrees with the names of the monuments, which, more- 
over, give a higher total than six-and-thirty for the 
reigns of the Assyrian kings. The list of Ctesias appears 
to have been put together capriciously or merely 
invented ; the lengths of the reigns are pure imagina- 
tion, and arranged according to certain synchronisms. 

Not less definite is the evidence of the monuments 
that the pre-eminence of Assyria over Upper Asia 
cannot have commenced in the year 2189 or 1913 B. a, 
as Ctesias asserts, or as may be assumed from his data, 

1 M6nant, " Annal." p. 63. 


nor in 1273, as has been deduced from the statements 
of Berosus, nor finally in the year 1234, according to 
Herodotus' statements (p. 27). Though we are able to 
find only approximately the dates of the kings of 
Assyria, whose Dames and deeds we have passed in 
review, the result is, nevertheless, that the power of 
Assyria in the fifteenth and fourteenth centuries did 
not go far beyond the native country that her forces 
by no means surpassed those of Babylon that pre- 
cisely in the thirteenth and twelfth centuries B.C. the 
kingdom of Babylon was at least as strong as that of 
Assyria that even towards the close of the twelfth 
century Tiglath Pilesar I. could gain no success against 
Babylon that his successors sought to establish peace- 
ful relations with Babylonia. There is just as little 
reason to maintain the period of 520 years which 
Herodotus allows for the Assyrian empire over Asia. 
This cannot in any case be assumed earlier than the 
date of Tiglath Pilesar L, who did at least cross the 
Euphrates and enter Northern Syria. The beginning 
of this empire would, therefore, be about 1130 B.C., 
not 1234 B.C. The date also which Herodotus gives 
for the close of this empire (before 700 B.C.) cannot, 
as will be shown, be maintained. According to this 
datum the decline and fall of Assyria must have 
began with the period in which, as a fact, she rose 
to the proudest height and extended her power to 
the widest extent. The period of 520 years can only 
be kept artificially by reckoning it upwards from the 
year 607 B.C., the year of the overthrow of the 
Assyrian empire ; then it brings us from this date 
to 1127 B.C., i. e. to the time of Tiglath Pilesar I. 
But we saw that the conquests of Tiglath Pilesar did 
not extend very far, that his successes west of the 
Euphrates were of a transitory nature ; in no case 


could a dominion of Assyria over Babylon be dated 
from his reign. 

The complete agreement of the Assyrian and Baby- 
lonian style and civilisation is proved most clearly by 
the monuments. The names of the princes of Assyria 
are formed analogously to those of the Babylonians ; 
the names and the nature of the deities which the 
Assyrians and Babylonians worship are the same. In 
Assyria we meet again with Anu the god of the high 
heaven, Samas the sun-god, Sin the moon-god, Bin 
(Ramman) the god of the thunder ; of the spirits of the 
planets Adar, the lord of Saturn, Nebo, the god of 
Mercury, and Istar, the lady of Venus, in her double 
nature of destroyer and giver of fruit, reappear. There 
is only one striking difference : the special protector 
of Assyria, Asshur, the god of the land, stands at the 
head of the gods in the place of El of the Babylonians. 
He it is after whom the land and the oldest metropolis 
is named, whose representatives the oldest princes of 
Assyria appear to have called themselves. The name 
of Asshur is said to mean the good or the kind ; l 
which may even on the Euphrates have been an epithet 
of El, which on the Tigris became the chief name of 
the deity. As the ancient princes of Ur and Erech, 
of Nipur and Senkereh, as the kings of Babel so also 
the kings of Assyria, as far back as our monuments 
allow us to go built temples to their gods ; like them 
they mark the tiles of their buildings with their names ; 
like the kings of Babel, they cause inscriptions to be 
written on cylinders, intended to preserve the memory 
of their buildings and achievements, and then placed 
in the masonry of their temples. The language of 
the inscriptions of Assyria differs from those of the 
Babylonian inscriptions, as one dialect from another ; 

1 B. Schrader, " Keilinschriften und A. T." s. 7. 


the system of writing is the same. The population of 
Assyria transferred their language and writing, their 
religious conceptions and modes of worship, from the 
Lower Euphrates to the Upper Tigris. If the princes 
of Erech, Nipur and Babylon had to repel the attacks 
of Elam, the Assyrian land, a region of moderate ex- 
tent, lay under the spurs of the Armenian table-land, 
under the ranges of the Zagrus. The struggle against 
the tribes of these mountains, in the Zagrus and in the 
region of the sources of the Euphrates and the Tigris, 
and the stubborn resistance of these tribes appears to 
have strengthened the warlike powers of the Assyrians, 
and these ceaseless campaigns trained them to that 
military excellence which finally, after a period of 
exercise which lasted for centuries, won for them 
the preponderance over Mesopotamia and Syria, over 
Babylonia and Elain, no less than over Egypt. 



AT the time when Babylonia, on the banks of the 
Euphrates, flourished under the successors of Hammu- 
rabi in an ancient and peculiar civilisation, and Assyria 
was struggling upwards beside Babylonia on the banks 
of the Tigris, strengthening her military power in the 
Armenian mountains and the ranges of the Zagrus, and 
already beginning to try her strength in more distant 
campaigns, a Semitic tribe succeeded in rising into 
eminence in the West also, in winning and exerting a 
deep-reaching influence on distant and extensive lands. 
It was a district of the most moderate extent from 
which this influence proceeded, its dominion was of a 
different kind from that of the Babylonians and 
Assyrians ; it grew up on an element which elsewhere 
appeared not a favourite with the Semites, and sought 
its points of support in settlements on distant islands 
and coasts. By this tribe the sea was actively traversed 
and with ever-increasing boldness ; by circumspection, 
by skill, by tough endurance and brave ventures it 
succeeded in extending its dominion in ever- widening 
circles, and making the sea the instrument of its wealth 
and the bearer of its power. 

On the coasts of Syria were settled the tribes of 
the Arvadites, Giblites and Sidonians (I. 344). Their 


land extended from the mouth of the Eleutherus 
(Nahr el Kebir) in the north to the promontory of 
Carmel in the south. A narrow strip of coast under 
Mount Lebanon, from 10 to 15 miles in breadth and 
some 1 50 miles in length, was all that they possessed. 
Richly watered by the streams sent down from Lebanon 
to the sea, the small plains formed round their mouths 
and separated by the spurs of the mountain ranges 
are of the most abundant fertility. The Eleutherus is 
followed to the south by the Adonis (Nahr el Ibra- 
him), and this by the Lycus (Nahr el Kelb) ; then follow 
the Tamyras (Nahr Damur), the Bostrenus (Nahr el 
Auli 1 ), the Belus (the Sihor Libnath of the Hebrews, 
now Nahr Naman), and lastly the Kishon. Above the 
shore rise hills clothed with date-palms, vines and 
olives ; higher up on Lebanon splendid mountain pas- 
tures spread out, and above these we come to the vast 
forests (I. 338) which provide shade in the glowing heat, 
as Tacitus says, 2 and to the bright snow-fields which 
crown the summit of Lebanon. Ammianus speaks of 
the region under Lebanon as full of pleasantness and 
beauty. The upper slopes of the mountain furnish 
pasture and forests ; in the rocks are copper and iron. 
The high mountain-range, which sharply divided the 
inhabitants of the coast from the interior (at a much 
later time, even after the improvements of the Roman 
Caesars, there were, as there are now, nothing but 
mule-tracks across Lebanon 3 ), lay behind the inhabit- 
ants of the coast, and before them lay the sea. At 
an early period they must have become familiar with 
that element. The name of the tribe which the 
Hebrew Scriptures call the " first-born of Canaan " 
means "fishermen." The places on the coast found 

1 Eobinson, " Palestine," 3, 710. 8 Tac. " Hist." 5, 6. 

3 Renan, "Mission de Phenicie," p. 836. 


the sea the easiest means of communication. Thus the 
sea, so rich in islands, the long but proportionately 
narrow basin which lay before the Sidonians, Giblites 
and Arvadites, would soon attract to longer voyages 
the fishermen and navigators of the coast. 

We found that the beginning of civilisation in 
Canaan could not be placed later than about the year 
2500 B.C., and we must therefore allow a considerable 
antiquity to the cities of the Sidonians, Giblites, 
Arvadites, Zemarites and Arkites. The settlement on 
the site of Sidon was founded, no doubt, before the 
year 2000 B.C., and that on the site of Byblus cannot 
certainly be placed later than this period. 1 The cam- 
paigns which the Pharaohs undertook against Syria 
and the land of the Euphrates after the expulsion of 
the Shepherds could not leave these cities unmoved. 
If the Zemar of the inscriptions of Tuthmosis III. is 
Zemar (Simyra) near Aradus, and Arathntu is Aradus 
itself, the territories of these cities were laid waste 
by this king in his sixth campaign (about the year 
1580 B.C.); if Arkatu is Arka, south of Aradus, this 
place must have been destroyed in his fifteenth cam- 
paign (about the year 1570 B.C.). Sethos I. (1440 
1400 B.C.) subdued the land of Limanon (i. e. the 
region of Lebanon), and caused cedars to be felled there. 
One of his inscriptions mentions Zor, i. e. Tyre, among 
the cities conquered by him. The son and successor 
of Sethos I., Ramses II., also forced his way in the 
first decades of the fourteenth century as far as the 
coasts of the Phenicians. At the mouth of the Nahr el 
Kelb, between Sidon and Berytus, the rocks on the 
coast display the memorial which he caused to be set 
up in the second and third year of his reign in honour 
of the successes obtained in this region. 2 In the fifth 

1 Vol. i. pp. 344, 345. 2 Vol. i. p. 151. 

B 2 


year of his reign Ramses, with the king of the Cheta' 
defeats the king of Arathu in the neighbourhood of 
Kadeshu on the Orontes, and Ramses III. about the 
year 1310 B.C., mentions beside the Cheta who attack 
Egypt the people of Arathu, by which name, in the 
one case as in the other, may be meant the warriors 
of Aradus. 1 If Arathu, like Arathu tu, is Aradus, 
it follows, from the position which Ramses II. and 
III. give to the princes of Arathu, that beside the 
power to which the kingdom of the Hittites had risen 
about the middle of the fifteenth century B.C., and 
which it maintained to the end of the fourteenth, 2 the 
Phenician cities had assumed an independent position. 
The successes of the Pharaohs in Syria come to an 
end in the first decades of the fourteenth century. 
Egypt makes peace and enters into a contract of 
marriage with the royal house of the Cheta ; the 
Syrians obtain even the preponderance against Egypt 
(I. 152), to which Ramses III. towards the end of the 
fourteenth century was first able to oppose a successful 

The overthrow of the kingdom of the Hittites, 
which succumbed to the attack of the Amorites (I. 
348) soon after the year 1300 B.C., must have had a 
reaction on the cities of the Phenicians. Expelled 
Hittites must have been driven to the coast-land, or 
have fled thither, and in the middle of the thirteenth 
century the successes gained by the Hebrews who 
broke in from the East, over the Amorites, the 
settlement of the Hebrews on the mountains of the 
Amorites, must again have thrown the vanquished, 
i. e. the fugitives of this nation, towards the coast. 

With this retirement of the older strata of the 
population of Canaan to the coast is connected the 

1 Vol. i. p. 153. 2 Yol. i. p. 344. 


movement which from this period emanates from the 
coasts of the Phenicians, and is directed towards the 
islands of the Mediterranean and the ^Egean. It is true 
that on this subject only the most scanty statements 
and traces, only the most legendary traditions have 
come down to us, so that we can ascertain these 
advances only in the most wavering outlines. One 
hundred miles to the west off the coast of Phoenicia 
lies the island of Cyprus. On the southern coast of 
this island, which looked towards Phoenicia, stood the 
city of Citium, Kith and Chith in the inscriptions of 
the Phenicians, and apparently Kittii in those of the 
Assyrians. Sidonian coins describe Citium as a daughter 
of Sidon. 1 After this city the whole island is known 
among the Semites as Kittim and Chittim ; this name 
is even used in a wider sense for all the islands 
of the Mediterranean. 2 The western writers state 
that before the time of the Trojan war Belus had 
conquered and subjugated the island of Cyprus, and 
that Citium belonged to Belus. 3 The victorious Belus 
is the Baal of the Phenicians. The date of the Trojan 
war is of no importance for the settlement of the 
Phenicians in Cyprus, for this statement is found in 
Virgil only. More important is the fact that the 
settlers brought the Babylonian cuneiform writing 
to Cyprus. This became so firmly rooted in use 
that even the Greeks, who set foot on the island at 
a far later time, scarcely before the end of the ninth 
century, adopted this writing, which here meanwhile 
had gone through a peculiar development, and had 
become a kind of syllabic-writing, and used it on coins 

1 The legend runs, " From the Sidonians, Mother of Kamb, Ippo, 
Kith(?), Sor," Movers, "Phoeniz." 2, 134. 

2 Isaiah xxiii. 1, 19; Jeremiah ii. 10; Ezekiel xxvii. 6; Joseph. 
"Antiq." 1, 6, 1. 

3 Yirgil, ^En." 1, 619, 620. 


and in inscriptions even in the fifth century B.C. 1 
The settlement of the Sidonians in Cyprus must there- 
fore have taken place before the time in .which the 
alphabetic writing, i. e. the writing specially known as 
Phenician, was in use in Syria, and hence at the latest 
before 1100 B.C. How long before this time the settle- 
ment of the Phenicians in Cyprus took place can, 
perhaps, be measured by the fact that the Cyprian 
alphabet is a simplification of the old Babylonian 
cuneiform writing. The simplified form would un- 
doubtedly have been driven out by the far more 
convenient alphabetic writing of the Phenicians if the 
Cyprian writing had not become fixed in use in this 
island before the rise of the alphabetic writing. Further, 
since the Phenicians, as we shall see, set foot on the 
coast of Hellas from about the year 1200 B.C. onwards, 
we must place the foundation of the colonies on the 
coasts nearest them, the settlement in Cyprus, before this 
date, about the middle of the thirteenth century B.C. 

What population the Phenicians found on Cyprus it 
is not possible to discover. Herodotus tells us that the 
first inhabitants of the island were Ethiopians, accord- 
ing to the statements of the Cyprians. It is beyond 
a doubt that not Citium only, but the greater part of 
the cities of the island were founded by the Phenicians, 
and that the Phenician element became the ruling 
element of the whole island. 2 It is Belus who is said 
to have conquered Cyprus, and to whom the city of 
Citium is said to belong ; i. e. Citium worshipped the 
god Baal. At Amathus, to the west of Citium, on the 
south coast of the island, which was called the oldest 
city on Cyprus, and which nevertheless bears a dis- 
tinctly Semitic name (Hamath), Adonis and Ashera- 

1 Brandis, " Monatsberichte Berl. Akad." 1873, s. 645 fE. 

2 Herod. 7, 90. 


Astarte were worshipped, 1 and these deities had also 
one of their oldest and most honoured seats of worship 
at Paphos (Pappa in the inscriptions), on the west 
coast. The Homeric poems represent Aphrodite as 
hastening to her altar at Paphos in Cyprus. Pausanias 
observes that the Aphrodite of Cyprus was a warlike 
Aphrodite, 2 and as the daughters of the Cyprians 
surrendered themselves to the foreign seamen in 
honour of this goddess, 3 it was the Astarte- Ashera of 
the Phenicians who was worshipped at Amathus and 
Paphos. The Zeus of the Cyprian city Salamis 
(Sillumi in the inscriptions of the Assyrians), to whom, 
according to the evidence of western writers, human 
sacrifices were offered, can only be Baal Moloch, the 
evil sun-god of the Phenicians. In the beginning of 
the tenth century B.C. the cities of Cyprus stood under 
the supremacy of the king of Tyre. 4 The island was 
of extraordinary fertility. The forests furnished wood 
for ship-building ; the mountains concealed rich veins 
of the metal which has obtained the name of copper 
from this island. 5 Hence it was a very valuable 
acquisition, an essential strengthening of the power of 
Sidon in the older, and Tyre in the later, period. 

Following Zeno of Khodes, who wrote the history of 
his home in the first half of the second century B.C., 6 
Diodorus tells us : The king of the Phenicians, Agenor, 
bade his son Cadmus seek his sister Europa, 7 who had 

1 Stephan. Byz. 'Ajua0o5c. 

2 " Odyss." 8, 362; Tac. " Annal." 2, 3 ; Pausan. 1, 14, 6 ; Pompon. 
Mela, 2, 7. 3 Vol. i. p. 359. 

4 Joseph, "in Apion." 1, 18; " Antiq." 8, 5, 3, 9, 14, 2. 

5 Movers, " Phceniz." 2, 239, 240. 6 Diod. 5, 56. 

7 In Homer Europa is not the daughter of Agenor but of Phoenix 
("II." 14, 321), just as Cadmus, Thasos, and Europa are sometimes 
children of Agenor and sometimes of Phosnix. In Hdt. 1, 2 it is 
Cretans who carry off Europa, the daughter of the king of Tyre. 


disappeared, and bring back the maiden, or not return 
himself to Phoenicia. Overtaken by a violent storm, 
Cadmus vowed a shrine to Poseidon. He was saved, 
and landed on the island of Rhodes, where the inhabit- 
ants worshipped before all other gods the sun, who had 
here begotten seven sons and among them Makar. 
Cadmus set up a temple in Rhodes to Poseidon, as he 
had vowed to do, and left behind Phenicians to keep 
up the service; but in the temple which belonged 
to Athena at Cnidus in Rhodes he dedicated a work 
of art, an iron bowl, which bore an inscription in 
Phenician letters, the oldest inscription which came 
from Phrenicia to the Hellenes. From Rhodes Cadmus 
came to Samothrace, and there married Harmonia. 
The gods celebrated this first marriage by bringing 
gifts, and blessing the married pair to the tones of 
heavenly music. 1 

Ephorus says that Cadmus carried off Harmonia 
while sailing past Samothrace, and hence in that island 
search was still made for Harmonia at the festivals. 2 
Herodotus informs us that Cadmus of Tyre, the son of 
Agenor, in his search for Europa, landed on the island 
of Thera, which was then called Callisto, and there 
left behind some Phenicians, either because the land 
pleased him or for some other reason. These Pheni- 
cians inhabited the island for eight generations before 
Theras landed there from Lacedaemon. The rest went 
to the island of Thasos and there built a temple to 
Heracles, which he had himself seen, and the city of 
Thasos. This took place five generations before Heracles 
the son of Amphitryon was born. After that Cadmus 
came to the land now called Bceotia, and the Phenicians 
who were with him inhabited the land and taught the 

1 Diod. 4, 2, 60 ; 5, 56, 57, 58, 48, 49. 

2 Ephor. Frag. 12, ed. Miiller. 


Hellenes many things, among others the use of writing, 
" which as it seems to me the Hellenes did not possess 
before. They learnt this writing, as it was used by 
the Phenicians ; in the course of time the form of 
the letters changed with the language. From these 
Phenicians the lonians, among whom they dwelt, learnt 
the letters, altered their form a little, and extended 
their use. As was right, they called them Phenician 
letters, since the Phenicians had brought them into 
Greece. I have myself seen inscriptions in Cadmeian 
letters (i. e. from the time of Cadmus) in the temple 
of Ismenian Apollo at Thebes." l According to the 
narrative of Hellauicus, Cadmus received an oracle, 
bidding him follow the cow which bore on her back 
the sign of the full moon, and found a city where she 
lay down. Cadmus carried out the command, and 
when the cow lay down wearied, where Thebes now 
stands, Cadmus built there the Cadmeia (the citadel of 
Thebes). 2 According to the statement of Pherecydes 
Cadmus also built the city of Thebes. 3 With Hecatseus 
of Miletus Cadmus passes as the discoverer of letters ; 
according to others he also discovered the making of 
iron armour and the art of mining. 4 

The direction of the Phenician settlements, which 
proceeds in the ^Egean sea from S.E. to N.W., cannot 
be mistaken in these legends. First Rhodes, then 
the Cyclades, then the islands on the Thracian coast, 
Samothrace and Thasos, were colonised ; and at length, 
on the strait of Euboea, the mainland of Hellas was 
trodden by the Phenicians, who are said to have gained 
precisely from this point a deep-reaching influence over 

1 Herod. 4, 147 ; 2, 45, 49 ; 5, 58, 59. 

2 Frag. 8, 9, ed. Miiller. 

3 Frag. 40 42, 43 45, ed. Miiller. 

4 Frag. 163, ed. Mtiller. 


the Hellenes. The legend of Cadmus goes far back 
among the Greeks. In the Homeric poems the inhabit- 
ants of Thebes are " Cadmeians." The Thebaid praised 
" the divine wisdom of Cadmus ; " in the poems of 
Hesiod he leads home Harmonia, "the daughter of 
Ares and Aphrodite," and Pindar describes how the 
Muses sang for " the divine Cadmus, the wealthiest of 
mortals, when in seven-gated Thebes he led the ox-eyed 
Harmonia to the bridal-bed." l Agenor, the father of 
Cadmus, is a name which the Greeks have given to 
the Baal of the Phenicians. 2 Cadmus himself, the 
wealthiest of mortals, who leads home the daughter of a 
god and a goddess, who celebrates the first marriage 
at which the gods assemble, bring gifts and sing, 
whose wife was worshipped as the protecting goddess of 
Thebes, 3 whose daughters, Ino, Leucothea and Semele, 
are divine creatures, whom Zeus leads to the Elysian 
fields, 4 can only be a god. He seeks the lost Europa, 
and is to follow the cow which bears the sign of the full 
moon. We know the moon-goddess of the Phenicians, 
who bears the crescent moon and cow's horns, the 
horned Astarte, who wears a cow's head, the goddess 
of battle and sensual desire, and thus the daughter of 
Ares and Aphrodite. " The great temple of Astarte 
at Sidon," so we find in the book of the Syrian goddess, 
" belongs, as the Sidonians say, to Astarte ; but a priest 
told me that it was a temple of Europa, the sister of 
Cadmus." The meaning of the word Europa has been 
discussed previously (I. 371). Cadmus, who seeks the 
lost moon-goddess, who at length finds and overcomes 
her, and celebrates with her the holy marriage, is the 
Baal Melkarth of the Phenicians. The death-bringing 

1 "Theog." 937, 975; Find. "Pyth." 3, 88 segq. 

2 Movers, "Phceniz." 1, 129, 131. 3 Plut. "Pelop." c. 19. 
4 Pind. "Olymp." 2, 141. 


Istar-Astarte is changed into Bilit-Ashera, into the 
fruit-giving goddess ; l the gloomy Europa changes into 
Harmonia, the goddess of union, birth and increase, 
yet not without leaving to her descendants deadly 
gifts. It is the myth of Melkarth and Astarte 
which the Greeks present to us in the story of 
Cadmus ; with this myth they have connected the 
foundation of the Phenician settlements in Khodes, 
Thera, Samothrace, Thasos and Boeotia ; they have 
changed it into the foundation of these colonies. The 
name Cadmus means the man of the East ; to the 
Hebrews the Arabs who dwelt to the east of them 
were known as Beni Kedem, i. e. sons of the East. 2 
To the Greeks the Phenicians were men of the East, 
just as to the English of the thirteenth century the 
merchants of Lubeck were Easterlings. The citadel of 
Thebes, which the men of the East built, preserved 
the name of Cadmus the son of the East, and kept it 
alive among the Greeks. 

What we can gather from Grecian legend is con- 
firmed by some statements of historians and by traces 
which tell of settlements of the Phenicians. Thucy- 
dides informs us that the Phenicians colonised most 
of the islands of the .ZEgean. 3 Diodorus has already 
told us with regard to Rhodes that in the temples 
of this island were Phenician works of art and in- 
scriptions, and that in Rhodes the sun-god and the 
seven children which he begot there were worshipped. 
In the number eight made by these deities we can 
hardly fail to recognise the eight great deities of 
the Phenicians ; the sun-god at their head is the 
Baal of the Phenicians (I. 357). And if Diodorus 
mentions Makar among the seven sons of the sun-god 
of Rhodes, if according to others Rhodes, like Cyprus, 

1 Vol. i. 271. 2 Movers, " Phoeniz." 1, 517. 3 Thac. 1, 8. 


was called Macaria, Makar is a Greek form of the 
name Melkarth. We further learn that on the highest 
mountain summit in, on Atabyris, Zeus was 
worshipped under the form of a bull, and that a human 
sacrifice was offered yearly to Cronos. In Atabyris 
we cannot fail to recognise the Semitic Tabor, i. e. the 
height. We found above that the Phenicians wor- 
shipped Baal under the form of a bull, and the Greeks 
are wont to denote Baal Moloch by the name of Cronos. 1 
These forms of worship continued to exist even when 
at a later time Hellenic immigrants had got the upper 
hand in Rhodes. It was the Dorians who here met 
with resistance from the Phenicians at Camirus and 
lalysus ; they got the upper hand, but admitted Phe- 
nician families into their midst, 2 and continued their 
sacred rites. Diodorus informs us that the Phenicians 
whom Cadmus had left behind on Rhodes had formed 
a mixed community with the lalysians, and that it was 
said that priests of their families had performed the 
sacred duties. 3 Even at a later time Rhodes stood in 
close relation with Phoenicia, especially with the city 
of Aradus. 4 Thus it happened that the colonies which 
the Rhodians planted in the seventh and sixth centuries 
in Sicily, Gela and Acragas, carried thither the worship 
of Zeus Atarbyrius. Zeus Atarbyrius was the protect- 
ing deity of Acragas, and human sacrifices were offered 
to his iron bull-image on the citadel of that city as 
late as the middle of the sixth century. The coins of 
Gela also exhibit a bull. 5 Of the island of Thera, 
Herodotus told us that the Phenicians colonised it 
and inhabited it for eight generations, i. e. for more 

1 Vol. i. 363, 364. 2 Atherueus, p. 360. 

3 Diod. 5, 58. Boeckh. C. I. G. 2526. 

6 Hefter, " Gotterdienste auf Eliodos,"3, 18; "Welcker, " Mythologie," 
1, 145; Brandis, " Munzwesen," s. 587. 


than 250 years according to his computation. Hero- 
dotus names the chief of the Phenicians whom 
Cadmus left behind on Thera ; others speak of the 
two altars which he erected there. 1 The descendants 
of these Phenicians were found here by the Greek 
settlers from Laconia. It is certain that even in the 
third century B.C. the island worshipped the hero 
Phoenix. 2 Of the island of Melos we learn that it was 
occupied by Phenicians of Byblus, and named by 
them after their mother city ; 3 the island of Oliaros 
near Paros was, on the other hand, according to Hera- 
cleides Ponticus, occupied by the Sidonians. 4 Strabo 
informs us that Samothrace was previously called 
Melite (Malta) ; from its height (the island is a 
mountain rising high in the sea and covered with oak 
forests ; the summit reaches 5000 feet) it obtained the 
name of Samos, " for high places are called Sami ; " 5 
as a matter of fact the stem of the word of this mean- 
ing, like the name Melite, belongs to the Phenician 
language. Ephorus has already told us (p. 56) that the 
Samothracians sought for Harmonia at their festivals ; 
Diodorus represents Cadmus as celebrating the marriage 
with Harmonia on Samothrace as well as at Thebes, 
and we learn from Herodotus that the Cabiri, i. e. 
the great gods of the Phenicians, were worshipped 
on Samothrace ; votive tablets of the island dating 
from Roman times still bear the inscription,"" to the 
great gods," i. e. to the Cabiri. 6 The islands of Imbros 
and Lemnos also worshipped the Cabiri ; Lemnos 
especially worshipped Hephaestus, who had a leading 

1 SchoL Find. "Pyth." 4, 88; Pausan. 3, 1, 7, 8; Steph, Byz. 
M/i|3Xiopoc. 2 Bceckh, 0. I. G. 2448. 

3 Herod. 4, 147 ; Steph. Byz. mfjXog. * Steph.. Byz. 'QXiapoQ. 

6 Strabo, pp. 346, 457, 472 ; Diod. 5, 47. 

6 Vol. i. 378 ; Herod. 2, 51 ; Conze, " Inseln des Thrakischen 
Meeres," e. g. s. 91. 


place in this circle. 1 The island of Thasos is said, 
according to the statement of the Greeks, to have been 
called after a son of Phoenix, or Agenor, of the name 
of Thasos, who was consequently a brother of Cadmus. 
Herodotus saw on the island a temple which the 
Phenicians had built to Heracles, i. e. to Baal-Melkarth, 
and the mines which they had made on the coast oppo- 
site Samothrace ; " they had overturned a great moun- 
tain in order to get gold from it." 2 Herodotus also tells 
us that the temple of Aphrodite Urania on the island 
of Cythera off the coast of Laconia was founded by the 
Phenicians, and Pausanias calls this temple the oldest 
and most sacred temple of Urania among the Hel- 
lenes ; the wooden image in this temple exhibited the 
goddess in armour. Aphrodite Urania is with the 
Greeks the Syrian Aphrodite ; if she was represented on 
Cythera in armour it is clear that she was worshipped 
there by the Phenicians as Astarte-Ashera, i. e. as the 
goddess of war and love. 3 

Not in the islands only, but on the coasts of Hellas 
also, the Phenicians have left traces of their ancient 
occupation, especially in the form of worship belong- 
ing to them. On the isthmus of Corinth Melicertes, 
i. e. Melkarth, was worshipped as a deity protecting 
navigation ; Corinthian coins exhibit him on a dolphin. 4 
Aphrodite, whose shrine stood on the summit of Acro- 
corinthus, was worshipped by prostitution like the 
Ashera-Bilit of the Phenicians. In Attica also, in the 
deme of Athmonon, there was a shrine of the goddess 
of Cythera, which king Porphyrion, i. e. the purple man, 
the Phenician, is said to have founded there at a very 

1 Strabo, p. 473 ; Steph. Byz. *I/*/3poc; vol. i. 378. 

2 Herod. 2, 44 ; 6, 47. 

3 Herod. 1, 105; Pausan. 1, 14, 7; 3, 23, 1. 

* Pausan. 10, 11, 5; Boackh, " Metrologie," s. 45. 


ancient time "before king Actaeus." 1 At Marathon, 
where Heracles was worshipped, and of whom the 
name represents the Phenician city Marathus, rose a 
fountain which had the name Makaria, i. e. Makar, 2 
the name of Melkarth, which we have already met with 
in Cyprus and Rhodes, and shall meet with again. 
More plainly still do the tombs lately discovered in 
Hymettus at the village of Spata attest the ancient 
settlement of the Phenicians on the Attic coast. 
These are chambers dug deeply into the rock after the 
Phenician manner, with horizontal roofs after the 
oldest fashion of Phenician graves ; and shafts lead 
down to them from the surface. The ornaments and 
works in glass, ivory, gold and brass discovered here, 
which are made after Babylonian and Egyptian models, 
can only have been brought by the Phenicians. 3 The 
citadel of Thebes, as has been said, retains the name 
of Cadmus ; the poetry of the Greeks praised the 
mighty walls, the seven gates of Thebes. We know 
the number seven of the great Phenician gods ; we can 
prove that the seven gates were dedicated to the gods 
of the sun, the moon and the five planets ; 4 and the 
Greeks have already admitted to us that they received 
the wearing of armour, the art of mining and masonry 
and finally their alphabet from Cadmus, i. e. from the 
Phenicians, the Cad means of Thebes. 

In the Homeric poems Europa, the daughter of 
Phoenix, bears Minos to Zeus. The abode of Minos is 
the "great city" of Cnossus in Crete ; he receives each 
nine years the revelations of his father Zeus ; for his 
daughter Ariadne Daedalus adorns a dancing place at 

1 Pausan. 1, 2, 5; 1, 14, 6, 7. 

2 Strabo, p. 377; Pausan. 1, 32, 5. 

3 A0HNAION c' y', 1877, and below, chap. xi. 

4 Brandis, " Hermes," 2, 275 ff. I cannot agree in all points with 
the deductions of this extremely acute inquiry. 


Cnossus. After his death Minos carries in the under 
world the golden sceptre, and by his decisions puts an 
end to the contentions of the shades. 1 His descendants 
rule in Crete. 2 Later accounts tell us that Zeus in the 
form of a bull carried off Europa from Phoenicia, and 
bore her over the sea to Crete. The wife of her son 
Minos, Pasiphae, then united with a bull which rose 
out of the sea, and brought forth the Minotaur, i. e. the 
Minos-bull, a man with a bull's head. 3 The son of 
Minos, Androgeos (earth-man) or Eurygyes (Broad- 
land), was destroyed in Attica by the bull of Marathon, 
who consumed him in his flames. 4 To avenge the 
death of Androgeos Minos seized Megara, and blight 
and famine compelled the Athenians to send, in obedi- 
ence to the command of Minos, seven boys and seven 
girls every ninth year to Crete, who were then sacri- 
ficed to the Minotaur. 5 Others narrate that Hephaestus 
had given Minos a man of brass, who wandered round 
the island and kept off foreign vessels, and clasped to his 
glowing breast all who were disobedient to Minos. 6 
When Daedalus retired before the wrath of Minos from 
Crete to Sicily, Minos equipped his ships to bring him 
back ; but he there found, according to Herodotus, a 
violent death. 7 The king of the Sicanians, so Diodorus 
tells us, gave him a friendly welcome, and caused a warm 
bath to be prepared, and then craftily suffocated him in 
it. The Cretans buried their king in a double grave ; 
they laid the bones in a secret place, and built upon 
them a temple to Aphrodite, and as they could not 
return to Crete because the Cretans had burned their 

1 "II." 14, 321; 18, 593; " Odyss." 19, 178; 11, 568. 

3 " Odyss." 11, 523. 3 Diod. 4, 60. 

4 Serv. ad " ^neid." 6, 30. 

6 Hesych. T' Vvpvyvg dywv ; Plut. " Thes." c. 15 ; Diod. 4, 65. 
8 Apollodor. 1, 9, 26; Suidas, S 

7 Herod. 7, 110. 


ships, they founded the city Minoa in Sicily ; but the 
tomb of Minos was shown in Crete also. 1 

A bull-god carries the daughter of Phoenix over the sea 
to Crete and begets Minos ; a bull who rises out of the 
sea begets with Pasiphae, i. e. the all-shining, the Minos- 
bull, to which in case of blight and famine boys and girls 
are sacrificed in the number sacred among the Semites ; 
Androgeos succumbs to the heat of the bull of Mara- 
thon, an iron man slays his victims by pressing them 
to his glowing breast. These legends of the Greeks 
are unmistakable evidence of the origin of the rites 
observed in Crete from the coast of Syria, of the settle- 
ment of Phenicians in Crete. The bull-god may be 
the Baal Samim or the Baal Moloch of the Phenicians ; 
Europa has already revealed herself to us as the moon- 
goddess of the Phenicians (p. 58) ; Pasiphae is only 
another name for the same goddess, the lady of the 
nightly sky, the starry heaven. We know that on 
occasions of blight human sacrifices were offered to 
Baal Moloch, the fiery, consuming, angry sun-god, and 
that these sacrifices were burnt. Ister, a writer of the 
third century B.C., tells us quite simply ; In ancient 
times children were sacrificed to Cronos in Crete. 2 
Before the harbour of Megara lay an island of the 
name of Minoa ; at the time of the summer heat 
before the corn was ripe, the Athenians offered peace- 
offerings at the Thargelia, " in the place of human 
sacrifices," 3 that the consuming sun might not kill the 
harvest. The name of the island and this custom, as 
well as the flames of the bull of Marathon, prove that 
beside the worship of the Syrian goddess at Athmonon, 
and the worship of Melkarth at Marathon, the worship 
of Baal Moloch had penetrated as far as Megara and 

1 Diod. 4, 7673 ; Schol. Callim. " Hymn, in Jovem," 8. 

2 Istri frag. 47, ed. Muller. 3 Istri frag. 33, ed. Muller. 



Attica. Minos, the son of the sky-god, the husband of 
the moon-goddess, who from time to time receives reve- 
lations from heaven, and even after his death is judge of 
the dead, is himself a god ; his proper name is Minotaur, 
a name taken from the form of the bull's image and the 
bull's head. When Baal Melkarth had found and over- 
come Astarte, after he had celebrated with her the holy 
marriage, he went to rest according to the Phenician 
myth in the waters of the western sea which he had 
warmed. The Phenicians were of opinion that the 
beams of the sun when sinking there in the far west 
had the most vigorous operation because of their 
greater proximity. 1 Minos goes to Sicily ; there in a 
hot bath he ends his life, and over his resting-place 
rises the temple of Astarte-Ashera, with whom he 
celebrated his marriage in the west, and who by this 
marriage is changed from the goddess of war into the 
goddess of love. The tombs of Minos in Crete, Sicily, 
and finally at Gades, of which the Greeks speak, are 
in the meaning of the Phenician myth merely resting- 
places of the god, who in the spring wakes from his 
slumber into new power. The Greeks made Minos, 
who continued to live in the under-world, a judge in 
the causes of the shades, and finally a judge of the 
souls themselves. On the southern coast of Sicily, at 
the mouth of the Halycus, lay the city which the 
Greeks called Minoa or Heraclea-Minoa after Minos. 
To the Phenicians it was known as Eus Melkarth (p. 
78), a title which proves beyond doubt that Minos was 
one of the names given by the Greeks to this god of 
the Phenicians. 

The worship of Baal Moloch, which the Phenicians 
brought to Crete and the shores of Megara and 
Attica, was not all that the Greeks personified in the 

1 MullenhoflP, " Deutsche Alterthumskunde," i. 222. 


form of Minos ; they did not confine themselves to one 
side of the myth of Baal Melkarth. When Grecian 
colonists settled subsequently in Crete they found 
the cities of the Phenicians full of t artistic capacity, 
and their life regulated by legal ordinances. Thus 
their legend could place the artist Dsedalus, the 
discoverer and pattern of all art - industry, beside 
Minos, and refer to Minos the ordinances of the cities. 
Zeus himself had revealed these arrangements to him. 
At a later time the Greek cities of Crete traced their own 
institutions back to Minos ; here and there they may 
perhaps have followed a Phenician model, or they may 
have given out that such a model had been followed. 
Plato represents Minos as receiving the wise laws 
which he introduced into Crete from Zeus. With 
Aristotle also Minos is the founder of the Cretan laws. 1 
In the circle of the Cabiri the sky-god Baal Samim was 
the protector and defender of law (I. 377). 

Lastly, Minos is with the Greeks at once the repre- 
sentation and expression of the dominion which the 
Phenicians exercised in ancient times over the islands 
of the ^Egean sea, before the settlements of the Greeks 
obtained the supremacy over the islands and the ships 
of the Greeks took the lead in these waters. In the 
age of the Heroes, so Herodotus tells us, Minos estab- 
lished the first naval empire ; the Carians, who inhabited 
the islands, he made his subjects ; they did not indeed 
pay tribute, but they had to man his ships whenever 
necessary. 2 " The oldest king," says Thucydides, " of 
whom tradition tells us that he possessed a fleet was 
Minos. He ruled over the greatest part of the Greek 
sea and the Cyclades, which he colonised, driving out 

1 Plato, " Minos," pp. 262, 266, 319, 321 ; " De. Legg," init.; Aiistot. 
"Pol." 2, 8, 1, 2; 7, 9, 2. 

2 Herod. 1, 171 ; 3, 122 ; 7, 169171. 



the Carians and making his sons lords of the islands." 
Minos, as a king ruling by law, is then said to have 
put an end to piracy. 

The Phenicians could not certainly have left out 
of sight the largest of the islands, which forms the 
boundary of the ^Egean sea ; and the traditions of the 
Greeks can hardly go wrong if they make this island 
the centre of the naval supremacy of Minos, i. e. of 
the supremacy of the Phenicians over the Cyclades. 
Crete must have been the mainstay of their activity in 
the .^Egean, just as Thebes was the point on the main- 
land where they planted the firmest foot. The title 
Minoa seems to lie at the base of the name of Minos, a 
title borne not only by the island off Megara and the 
city in Sicily, but also by two cities in Crete (one on 
the promontory of Drepanum, the other in the region 
of Lyctus), by some islands near Crete, a city in 
Amorgus, and a city in Siphnus. The name Minoa 
(from navah} could mean dwelling ; it is certain evi- 
dence of a Phenician settlement. But the Phenicians 
have left traces of their existence in Crete beside the 
names Minos and Minoa and the forms of worship 
denoted by them. Coins of the Cretan cities Gortys 
and Phsestus exhibit a bull or a bull-headed man as 
a stamp. Near the Cretan city of Cydonia the Jar- 
danus, i. e. the Jordan, falls into the sea ; the name 
of the city Labana goes back to the Phenician word 
libanon, i. e. " white." Cnossus, the abode of Minos in 
Homer and Herodotus, 2 was previously named Kairatus; 
Karath in Phenician means city. Itanus, in Crete 
(JEthanath in the Semitic form), is expressly stated to be 
a foundation of the Phenicians. 3 

With regard to the state of civilisation reached by 

1 Herod. 1, 4. 2 Herod. 3, 122. 

3 Strabo, p. 476 ; Steph. Byz. 'I 


Syria before the year 1500 B.C., we may draw some 
conclusions from the fact that not merely did the 
civilisation of Egypt influence the shepherds of Semitic 
race who ruled over Egypt at that period, but that 
Semitic manners and customs left behind traces in 
Egypt (I. 128). Hence we may assume that the 
Syrians carried their wine and their oil to the Nile at 
the time when their kinsmen ruled there (1 950 1650 
B.C.). The civilisation of Syria appears more clearly 
from the tributes imposed by Tuthmosis III. on Syria, 
which are here and there illustrated by the pictures 
accompanying the inscriptions of this Pharaoh. The 
burdens imposed on the Syrians consist not only of 
corn, wine, oil and horses ; not only of gold, silver 
and iron, but also of arms and works of art, among 
which the pictures allow us to recognise carefully- 
decorated vessels. On the other hand, it is clear from 
the fact that the Babylonian weights and measures were 
in use in Syria at this time (I. 304) that the Syrians 
before this period were in lively intercourse with the 
land of the Euphrates, that even before the sixteenth 
century B.C. caravans must have traversed the Syrian 
deserts in every direction, and even then the Syrians 
must have exchanged the products of their land for 
Babylonian stuffs and the frankincense which the 
Arabians on their part carried to Babylon. The 
dependence of Syria on Egypt under the Tuthmosis 
and Amenophis can only have augmented the inter- 
course of the Syrians with the land of the Nile. 
Afterwards Sethos I. (1440 1400) caused wood to 
be felled on Lebanon ; it must have been the places on 
the coast under Lebanon which carried to Egypt in 
their ships, along with the wine and oil of the coast and 
the interior, the wood so necessary there for building 
and exchanged it for the fabrics of Egypt. Wood for 


building could not be conveyed on the backs of camels, 
and the way by sea from the Phenician towns to the 
mouths of the Nile was far easier and less dangerous 
than the road by land over rocky heights and through 
sandy deserts. Hence, as early as the fifteenth century 
B.C., we may regard the Phenician cities as the central 
points of a trade branching east and west, which must 
have been augmented by the fact that they conveyed 
not only products of the Syrian land to the Euphrates 
and the Nile, but could also carry the goods which 
they obtained in exchange in Egypt to Babylonia, and 
what they obtained beyond the Euphrates to Egypt. 
At the same time the fabrics of Babylon and Egypt 
roused them to emulation, and called forth an industry 
among the Phenicians which we see producing woven 
stuffs, vessels of clay and metal, ornaments and 
weapons, and becoming pre-eminent in the colouring 
of stuffs with the liquor of the purple-fish, which are 
found on the Phenician coasts. This industry required 
above all things metals, of which Babylonia and Egypt 
were no less in need, and when the purple-fish of their 
own coasts were no longer sufficient for their extensive 
dyeing, colouring-matter had to be obtained. Large 
quantities of these fish produced a proportionately small 
amount of the dye. Copper-ore was found in Cyprus, 
gold in the island of Thasos, and purple-fish on the 
coasts of Hellas. When the fall of the kingdom of the 
Hittites and the overthrow of the Amorite princes iii 
the south of Canaan augmented the numbers of the 
population on the coast, these cities were no longer 
content to obtain those possessions of the islands by 
merely landing and making exchanges with the inhabit- 
ants. Intercourse with semi-barbarous tribes must be 
protected by the sword. Good harbours were needed 
where the ships could be sheltered from storm and bad 


weather, where the crews could find safety from the 
natives, rest and fresh stores of water and provisions. 
Thus arose protecting forts on the distant islands and 
coasts, which received the ships of the native land. 
Under the protection of these intercourse could be 
carried on with the natives, and they were points of 
support for the collection of the fish and the sinking 
of mines. 

In order to obtain the raw material necessary for 
their industry no less than to carry off the surplus of 
population, the Phenicians were, brought to colonise 
Cyprus, Rhodes, Crete, Thera, Melos, Oliarus, Samo- 
thrace, Imbros, Lemnos and Thasos. In. the bays of 
Laconia and Argos, in the straits of Euboea, 1 purple- 
fish were found in extraordinary quantities. The 
Phenicians settled in the island of Cythera in the bay 
of Laconia, which, as Aristotle says, was once called 
Porphyrussa from its purple-fish, 2 and there erected 
that ancient temple to the oriental Aphrodite, Aphrodite 
in armour, just as in Attica in the deme of Athmonon 
they founded the temple of the Syrian Aphrodite and 
excavated the tombs on Hymettus. 3 Midway between 
the straits of Euboea and the bay of Corinth, which 
abounded with purple-fish, rose the strong fortress 
of the Cadmeia, and on Acrocorinthus the shrine of 

Herodotus and Thucydides told us above (p. 67) 
that the Carians inhabited the islands of the ^Egean 
sea. These were they whom Minos had made subject 
to his dominion. Beside this, we are informed more 
particularly that the Carians had possessed the island 
of Rhodes, which lay off their coast, and had dwelt on 
Chios and Samos (I. 571). What degree of civilisation 

1 Pausan. 3, 21, 6. 2 Aristotle, in Steph. Byz. Kv6t)pa. 

3 Above, p. 63. 


was reached by the population of the islands of the 
^Egean sea before the Phenicians came into relations 
with them may be inferred to some extent from the dis- 
coveries made in the island of Thera. In and beneath 
three layers of ashes and tufa caused by vast eruptions 
of the voleanos of this island have been discovered 
stone instruments, pottery of the most rudimentary 
kind, in part with the rudest indications of the human 
face and figure, and beside these weapons of copper 
and brass. In the upper layers of the tufa we find far 
better pottery decorated in the Phenician style. On 
Melos also, and in the tombs at Camirus in Rhodes, 
vessels of the same kind have been discovered ; and, 
finally, in the highest of the layers at Thera are gold 
ornaments of the most various kinds, and ornaments of 
electron, i. e. of mixed gold and silver, all of a work- 
manship essentially non-Hellenic. From these facts 
we may draw the conclusion that the ships of the 
Phenicians brought to these inhabitants their earliest 
weapons in brass and copper, their pottery and orna- 
ments ; that the Carians of the islands, following these 
patterns, raised their own efforts to a higher stage, 
and that afterwards the Phenicians themselves settled 
in the islands and made themselves masters of them. 
Perhaps we may even go a step further. In the 
lower strata of the excavations at Hissarlik, on the 
Trojan coast, we find exactly the same primitive 
pottery, with the same indications of human forms, as 
in Thera, while in the refuse lying above this are idols 
and pottery adorned after Phenician patterns, which 
correspond exactly to the idols of Cyprus, as well as 
ornaments like those of Thera. Hence in this region 
also we may assume that the Phenicians gave the 
impulse and the example to the development of 
civilisation, and the more so as the name of the 


city of Adramyttion on the Trojan coast repeats the 
name of a Phenician foundation on the coast of North 
Africa (Adrames, Hadrumetum), and even Strabo 
ascribes the worship of the Cabiri to some places on 
the Trojan coast. 1 Far more definite traces of the 
Phenician style and skill are in existence on the shore 
of the bay of Argos. The ancient tombs which have been 
recently discovered behind the lions' gate at Mycenae 
are hewn in the rocks after the manner of the Phenicians. 
As in the ancient burying-places of the Phenicians, a 
perpendicular shaft forms the entrance to the sepul- 
chral chambers; the corpses are laid in them without 
coffins, as was the most ancient custom in Phoenicia. 
The masks of beaten gold-leaf which were found on 
the faces of five or six of the corpses buried here are 
evidence of a custom which the Phenicians borrowed 
from the gilded faces of Egyptian coffins. 2 The corpses 
are covered with gold ornaments and other decorations. 
There is a large number of weapons and ornaments of 
gold, silver, copper, brass and glass in the tombs ; the 
execution exhibits a technical skill sometimes more, 
sometimes less practised. The ornaments remind us 
of Babylonian and Assyrian patterns ; the idols in burnt 
clay are in the Phenician style ; the palm-leaves and 
palms, antelopes and leopards which frequently occur, 
point to regions of the East ; the articles of amber and 
the ostrich egg can only have reached the bay of Argos 
in Phenician ships. Still there are grave reasons for 
refusing to believe that the persons buried in this 
tomb are princes of the Phenicians. The numerous 
pieces of armour show that the dead who rest here 
were buried with their armour, which is not the tradi- 
tional custom either with regard to the Phenicians or 
the Hellenes, but which Thucydides quotes as a mark 

1 Strabo, p. 479. 2 Below, chap. 11. 


of the tombs of the Carians. 1 We learn, moreover, 
even from the Homeric poems, that the Carians loved 
gold ornaments, and further, that the Greeks improved 
their armour after the pattern of the Carians (I. 572). 
As we also find the double axe of the Carian god, the 
" Zeus Stratius " as the Greeks called him, the " axe- 
god," the Chars-El in the Carian language (I. 573), on 
some ornaments of the tombs of Mycenae, the suppos- 
ition forces itself upon us that Carians from the western 
islands must have occupied the shore of the bay of 
Argos. In any case, the tombs of Mycenae, both from 
their position and their contents, announce to us that 
the people who excavated them and placed their dead 
in them were dependent on the style and skill of the 

Can we fix the time at which the Phenicians first 
set foot on the islands of Hellas ? Herodotus tells us 
that Troy was taken in the third generation after the 
death of Minos. 2 If we put three full generations, 
according to the calculation of Herodotus, between the 
death of Minos and the conquest of Ilium, the first 
event took place 100 years before the second. Since, 
according to the data of Herodotus, the capture of 
Ilium falls in the year 1280 or 1260 B.C., Minos 
would have died in the year 1380 or 1360 B.C. The 
landing of the Phenicians on Thasos and the expedi- 
tion of Cadmus from Phoenicia beyond the islands to 
Boeotia are placed by Herodotus five generations before 
Heracles, and Heracles is placed 900 years before his 
own time. If we reckon upwards from the year 450 
or 430 B.C., Heracles lived about the year 1350 or 1330 
B.C., and Cadmus five generations, i. e. 166f years, 
before this date, or about the year 1516 or 1496 B.C. 3 
On the island of Thera, Herodotus further remarks, the 

1 Time. 1, 8. 2 Herod. 7, 171. 3 Herod. 2, 44, 145. 


Phenicians whom Cadmus left behind him there had 
dwelt for eight generations, i. e. 266f years, before the 
Dorians came to the island. 1 Melos was also occupied 
by Dorians, who asserted in 416 B.C. that their com- 
munity had been in existence 700 years, 2 according to 
which statement the Dorians came to Melos in the 
year 1116 B.C. With this event the Phenician rule 
over the island came to an end. If we assume that 
Thera, which is close by Melos, was taken from the 
Phenicians by the Dorians at the same time as the 
latter island, the eight generations given by Herodotus 
for the settlements of the Phenicians on Thera would 
carry us back to the year 1382 B.C. (1116 + 266|), a 
date which is certainly in agreement with his state- 
ment about the death of Minos, but contradicts the 
date given for Cadmus, who yet, according to the 
narrative of Herodotus, left behind the settlers on 
Thera and Thasos when he first sailed to Bceotia. 
Herodotus fixes dates according to generations and the 
genealogies of legend. The five generations which 
separated Cadmus from Heracles were for him, no 
doubt, Polydorus, Labdacus, Laius, (Edipus and Poly- 
nices ; for the three generations between the death of 
Minos and the capture of Troy we find in Homer only 
two, Deucalion and Idomeneus. 3 But we can still 
find from Herodotus' calculations how far back the 
Greeks placed the beginning and the end of the em- 
pire of the Phenicians over their islands and coasts. 
Beyond this the chronographers do not give us any help. 
Eusebius and Hieronymus (Jerome) place the rape of 
Europa in the year 1429 or 1426 B.C. ; the rule of 
Cadmus at Thebes in the year 1427 B.C. or 1319 
(1316) B.C. ; the settlement of the Phenicians on 

1 Herod. 4, 147. 2 Thuc. 5, 112. 

3 Herod. 5, 89; "H." 13,451; " Odyss." 19, 178. 


Thera, Melos, and Thasos in the year 1415 B.C. ; the 
beginning of the rule of Minos in the year 1410 B.C., 
or, according to another computation, in the year 
1251 B.C. 1 

We can hardly obtain fixed points for determining the 
time of the settlements of the Phenicians in the yEgean 
sea. In the lower strata of the excavations at Hissarlik, 
on the coast of Troas, clay lentils have been found with 
Cyprian letters upon them. 2 Since the Greeks declared 
that they learnt their alphabet from, the Phenicians 
and Cadmus, and since as a fact it is the alphabet of 
the Phenicians which lies at the root of the Greek, the 
Cyprian letters can only have been brought thither by 
Phenician ships from Cyprus before the discovery of the 
Phenician letters, or from the islands off the Trojan 
coast occupied by the Phenicians, from Lemnos, Imbros 
and Samothrace ; otherwise they must have come to the 
Troad at a later time by Cyprian ships or settlers, a 
supposition which is forbidden by the antiquity of the 
other remains discovered with or near the lentils. 
Among the sons of Japheth, the representative of the 
northern nations, Genesis mentions Javan, i. e. the 
Ionian, the Greek ; and enumerates the sons of Javan : 
Elisha, Tarshish, Chittim, and Dodanim or Rodanim 
the reading is uncertain. 3 It is a question whether the 
genealogical table in Genesis belongs to the first or 
second text of the Pentateuch, i. e. whether it was 
written down in the middle of the eleventh or of the 
tenth century B.C. In any case it follows that in the 
beginning of the eleventh or tenth century B.C. the name 
and nation of the lonians was known not only in the 

1 Euseb. "Chron." 2, p. 34 seqq. ed. Scheme. Even in Diodorus, 4, 
60, we find two Minoses, an older and a younger. 

2 Lenormant, " Antiq. de la Troade," p. 32. 

3 Genesis x. 2 4 ; 1 Chron. i. 5 7. 


h arbour- cities of Phoenicia, but in the interior of Syria, 
and the inhabitants of the islands and of the northern 
coasts of the Mediterranean were reckoned in the stock 
of these lonians. Chittim is, as was remarked above, 
primarily the island of Cyprus ; the Rodanim are the 
inhabitants of Rhodes (Dodanim would have to be 
referred to Dodoria) ; Elisha is Elis in the Pelopomiese, 
or the island of Sicilv, if the name is not one given 

< ' O 

generally to western coasts and islands ; l Tarshish is 
Tartessus, i. e. the region at the mouth of the Guadal- 
quivir. If Ezekiel mentions the purple which the 
Phenicians bring from " the isles of Elishah," 2 the 
islands and coasts of the jEgean sea are plainly meant, 
on which the Phenicians collected the fish for their 
purple dye. This much is clear, that at least about the 
year 1000 B.C. not only the islands and coasts of the 
^Egean were known in Syria, but even then the name 
of the distant land of Tarshish was current in Syria. We 
shall further see that as early as 1100 B.C. Phenician 
ships had passed the straits of Gibraltar. Hence we 
may conclude that the Phenicians must have set foot 
on Cyprus about the year 1250 B.C., and on the islands 
and coasts of Hellas about the year 1200 B.C. 

Thucydides observes that in ancient times the Phe- 
nicians had occupied the promontories of Sicily and the 
small islands lying around Sicily, in order to carry on 
trade with the Sicels. 3 Diodorus Siculus tells us that 
when the Phenicians extended their trade to the western 
ocean they settled in the island of Melite (Malta), 
owing to its situation in the middle of the sea and 
excellent harbours, in order to have a refuge for their 
ships. The island of Gaulus also, which lies close to 
Melite, is said to have been a colony of the Phenicians. 4 

1 Kiepert, " Monatsberichte Berl. Akad." 1859. 

2 Ezek. xxvii. 7. 3 Thuc. vi. 2. 4 Diod. v. 12. 


On the south-eastern promontory of Malta there was a 
temple of Heracles-Melkarth, 1 the foundation walls of 
which appear to be still in existence, and still more 
definite evidence of the former population of this island 
is given by the Phenician inscriptions found there. The 
island, like the mother-country, carried on weaving, 
and the products were much sought after in antiquity. 
On Gaulus also, a name mentioned on Phenician coins, 
are the remains of a Phenician temple. Between Sicily 
and the coast of Africa, where it approaches Sicily 
most nearly, lay the island of Cossyra, coins of which 
bear Phenician legends. Along with a dwarfish figure 
they present the name " island of the sons," 2 i. e. no 
doubt, the children of the sun-god whom we met with 
in Rhodes. On the east coast of Sicily there lay, on a 
small promontory scarcely connected with the main- 
land (now Isola degli Magnisi), the city of Thapsos, the 
name of which reveals its founders ; Tiphsach means 
coming over, here coming over to the mainland. In 
the same way the promontory of Pachynus (pachun 
means wart), further to the south, and the harbour 
of Phcenicus are evidence of Phenician colonisation. 
On the south coast of Sicily, not far from the mouth of 
the Halycus, the Phenicians built that city which is 
known to the Greeks as Makara and Minoa, or Heraclea- 
minoa; the coins of the city present in Phenician 
characters the name Rus-Melkart, i. e. " head (promon- 
tory) of Melkarth." 3 Off the west coast of Sicily the 
Phenicians occupied the small island of Motye. 4 On this 
coast of the larger island, on Mount Eryx, which rises 
steeply out of a bald table land (2000 feet above the 
sea), they founded the city of Eryx, and on the summit 

1 Ptolem. 4, 3, 47. 

2 Ai benim; Movers, " Phceniz." 2, 355, 359, 362. 

3 Heracl. Pont. frag. 29, ed. Miiller; Gesen. " Monum." p. 293; 
Olshausen, " Eh. Mus." 1852, S. 328. 4 Thuc. 6, 2. 


of the mount, 5000 feet high, they built a temple to 
the Syrian Aphrodite. In Diodorus it is Eryx the son 
of Aphrodite who builds this temple ; ^Eneas then 
adorns it with many votive offerings, " since it was 
dedicated to his mother." 1 Virgil represents the 
temple as being founded on the summit of Eryx, 
near to the stars, in honour of Venus Idalia, i. e. the 
goddess worshipped at Idalion (Idial) on Cyprus by 
the immigrants from the East, who, with him, are the 
companions of ^Eneas. 2 The courtezans at this temple, 
the sensual character of the worship, and the sacred 
doves kept here (in a red one the goddess herself was 
supposed to be seen 3 ), even without the Phenician 
inscriptions found there, would leave no doubt of its 
Syrian origin. The mighty substructure of the build- 
ing is still in existence. Daedalus is said to have built 
it for the king of the Sicanians (p. 64). Beside the 
Syrian goddess, the Phenicians also worshipped here 
the Syrian god Baal Melkarth. According to the 
account of Diodorus, Heracles overcame Eryx in wrest- 
ling, and so took his land from him, though he left the 
usufruct of it to the inhabitants. 4 The kings of Sparta 
traced their origin to Heracles. When Dorieus, the 
son of Anaxandridas, king of Sparta, desired to emi- 
grate in his anger that the crown had fallen to his 
brother Cleomenes, the oracle bade him retire to Eryx ; 
the land of Eryx belonged to the Heraclids because 
their ancestor won it. The Carthaginians, it is true, 
did not acknowledge this right ; Dorieus was slain, and 
most of those who followed him. 5 On the north coast 
of Sicily, Panormus (Palermo) and Soloeis were the 

1 Diod. 4, 83. 2 " -Sin." 5, 760. 

3 Diod. 4, 83; Strabo, p. 272 ; Atheuseus, p. 374; Aelian, "Hist. 
An." 4, 2 ; 10, 50. 

4 Diod. 4, 23. 5 Herod. 5, 43. 


most important colonies of the Phenicians. Panormus, 
on coins of the Phenicians Machanath, i. e. the camp, 
worshipped the goddess of the sexual passion ; Soloeis 
(sela, rock) worshipped Melkarth. In a hymn to 
Aphrodite, Sappho inquires whether she lingers in 
Cyprus or at Panormus. 1 Motye, Soloeis and Panormus 
were in the fifth century the strongest outposts of the 
Carthaginians in Sicily. 2 

On Sardinia also, as Diodorus tells us, the Phenicians 
planted many colonies. 3 The mountains of Sardinia con- 
tained iron, silver, and lead. According to the legend 
of the Greeks, Sardus, the son of Makeris, as the Libyans 
called Heracles, first came with Libyans to the island. 
Then Heracles sent his brother's son lolaus, together 
with his own sons, whom he had begotten in Attica, 
to Sardinia. As Heracles had been lord of the whole 
West, these regions belonged of right to lolaus and 
his companions. lolaus conquered the native inhabit- 
ants, took possession of and divided the best and most 
level portion of the land which was afterwards known 
by the name of lolaus; then he sent for Daedalus out 
of Sicily and erected large buildings, which, Diodorus 
adds, are still in existence ; but in Sicily temples were 
erected to himself, and honour paid as to a hero, and 
a famous shrine was erected in Agyrion, " where," as 
Diodorus remarks of this his native city, " even to this 
day yearly sacrifices are offered." 4 Makeris, the sup- 
posed father of Sardus, is, like Makar, a form of the 
name Melkarth. If Sardinia and the whole West as well 
as Eryx is said to have belonged to Heracles, if Heracles 
sends out his nearest relations to Sardinia, if the artist 

1 Steph. Byz. SoXoi/c. Sapphon. frag. 6, ed. Bergk; it is possible 
that Panormus on Crete may be meant. 

2 Time. 6, 2. * Diod. 5, 35. 

4 Diod. 4, 24, 29, 30; 5, 15 ; Arist. " De mirab. ausc." c. 104; Pausan. 
10, 17, 2. 


Daedalus is his companion here as he was the companion 
of Minos in Crete and Sicily, it becomes obvious that 
the temples of Baal Melkarth on the coasts of Sardinia 
and Sicily lie at the base of these legends of the Greeks, 
that it was the Phenicians who brought the worship 
of their god along with their colonies to these coasts, 
to which they were led by the wealth of the Sardinian 
mountains in copper. As we already ventured to 
suppose (I. 368), lolaus may be an epithet or a special 
form of Baal. 1 

The legend of the Greeks makes Heracles, i. e. Baal 
Melkarth, lord of the whole West. As a fact, the colo- 
nies of the Phenicians went beyond Sardinia in this 
direction. Their first colonies on the north coast of 
Africa appear to have been planted where the shore 
runs out nearest Sicily ; Hippo was apparently re- 
garded as the oldest colony. 2 In the legends of the 
coins mentioned above (p. 53) Hippo is named beside 
Tyre and Citium as a daughter of Sidon. When a 
second Hippo was afterwards founded further to the 
west, opposite the south coast of Sardinia, at the mouth 
of the Ubus, the old Hippo got the name of " Ippo- 
acheret," and among the Greeks " Hippon Zarytos," 
i. e. "the other Hippo." 3 Ttyke (atak, settlement, 
Utica), on the mouth of the Bagradas (Medsherda), 
takes the next place after this Hippo, if indeed it was 
not founded before it. Aristotle tells us that the 
Phenicians stated that Ityke was built 287 years 
before Carthage, 4 and Pliny maintains that Ityke was 
founded 1178 years before his time. 5 As Carthage 
was founded in the year 846 B.C. (below, chap. 11), 

1 Movers (" Phceniz." 1, 536) assumes that lolaus maybe identical 
with Esmun (I. 377). 

2 SaUust, " Jugurtha," 19, 1. 

3 Movers, loc. cit. a, 144. 4 "De mirab. ausc." c. 146. 
6 "Hist, nat." 16, 79. 

VOL. n. o 


Ityke, according to Aristotle's statement, was built in 
the year 1133 B.C. With this the statement of Pliny 
agrees. He wrote in the years 52 77 A.D., and 
therefore he places the foundation of Ityke in the year 
1126 or 1100 B.C. 

About the same time, i. e. about the year 1100 B.C., 
the Phenicians had already reached much further to 
the west. In his Phenician history, Claudius lolaus 
tells 'us that Archaleus (Arkal, Heracles 1 ), the son of 
Phoenix, built Gadeira (Gades). 2 " From ancient times," 
such is the account of Diodorus, " the Phenicians 
carried on an uninterrupted navigation for the sake of 
trade, and planted many colonies in Africa, and not a 
few in Europe, in the regions lying to the west. And 
when their undertakings succeeded according to their 
desire and they had collected great treasures, they 
resolved to traverse the sea beyond the pillars of 
Heracles, which is called Oceanus. First of all, on 
their passage through these pillars, they founded upon 
a peninsula of Europe a city which they called 
Gadeira, and erected works suitable to the place, chiefly 
a beautiful temple to Heracles, with splendid offerings 
according to the custom of the Phenicians. And as 
this temple was honoured at that time, so also in 
later times down to our own days it was held in great 
reverence. When the Phenicians, in order to explore 
the coasts beyond the pillars, took their course along 
the shore of Libya, they were carried away far into 
the Oceanus by a strong wind, and after being driven 
many days by the storm they came to a large island 
opposite Libya, where the fertility was so great and 
the climate so beautiful that it seemed by the abund- 
ance of blessings found there to be intended for the 

1 Arkal or Archal may mean " fire of the All," " light of the AIL" 
3 Etym. Magn. 


dwelling of the gods rather than men." * Strabo says, 
the Gaditani narrated that an oracle bade the Tyrians 
send a colony to the pillars of Heracles. When those 
who had been sent reached the straits of Mount Calpe 
they were of opinion that the promontories which 
enclosed the passage, Calpe and the opposite headland 
of Abilyx in Libya, 2 were the pillars which bounded the 
earth, and the limit of the travels of Heracles, which 
the oracle mentioned. So they landed on this side of 
the straits, at the spot where the city of the Axitani 
(Sexi) now stands ; but since the sacrifices were not 
favourable there they turned back. Those sent out 
after them sailed through the straits, and cast anchor 
at an island sacred to Heracles, 1500 stades beyond 
the pillars, opposite the city of Onoba in Iberia ; but 
as the sacrifices were again unfavourable they also again 
turned home. Finally, a third fleet landed on a little 
island 750 stades beyond Mount Calpe, close to the 
mainland, and not far from the mouth of the Bsetis. 
Here, on the east side of the island, they built a temple 
to Heracles ; on the opposite side of the island they 
built the city of Gadeira, and on the extreme western 
point the temple of Cronos. In the temple of Heracles 
there were two fountains and "two pillars of brass, 
eight cubits in height, on which is recorded the cost of 
the building of this temple." 3 This foundation of 
Gades, which on the coins is called Gadir and Agadir, 
i. e. wall, fortification, the modern Cadiz, and without 
doubt the most ancient city in Europe which has pre- 
served its name, is said to have taken place in the year 

1 Diod. 5, 19, 20. 

2 On the meaning given in Avienus ("Ora marit ") of Abila as 
"high mountain," and Calpa as "big-bellied jar," cf. Miillenhoff, 
"Deutsche Alterthumsk, 1, 83. 

3 Strabo, pp. 169172. Justin (44, 5) represents the Tyrians as 
founding Gades in consequence of a dream. In regard to the name 
cf. Avien. " Ora marit," 267270. 


1100 B.C. 1 If Ityke was founded before 1100 B.C. or 
about that time, \ve have no reason to doubt the 
founding of Gades soon after that date. Hence the 
ships of the Phenicians would have reached the ocean 
about the time when Tiglath Pilesar I. left the Tigris 
with his army, trod the north of Syria, and looked 
on the Mediterranean. 

The marvellous and impressive aspect of the rocky 
gate which opens a path for the waves of the Mediter- 
ranean to the boundless waters of the Atlantic Ocean 
might implant in the Phenician mariners who first 
passed beyond it the belief that they had found in 
these two mountains the pillars which the god set up to 
mark the end of the earth ; in the endless ocean beyond 
them they could easily recognise the western sea in 
which their sun-god went to his rest. That Gades, on 
the shore of the sea into which the sun went down, 
was especially zealous in the worship of Melkarth, that 
the descent of the "god into the western ocean (the 
supposed death of Heracles 2 ) and the awakening of the 
god with the sun of the spring were here celebrated 
with especial emphasis, is a fact which requires no 
explanation. The legends of the Hesperides, the 
daughters of the West, in whose garden Melkarth 
celebrates the holy marriage with Astarte (I. 371), of 
the islands of the blest in the western sea, appear to 

1 Movers, " Phceniz." 2, 622. Strabo (p. 48) puts the first settle- 
ments of the Phenicians in the midst of the Libyan coast and at 
Gades just after the Trojan war, Velleius (1, 2, 6, in combination 
with 1, 8, 4), in the year 1100 B.C. Cf. Movers, loc. cit. S. 148, note 90. 
The Greeks called both land and river Tartessus. The pillars of the 
Tynan god " Archaleus," are with them the pillars of their "Heracles," 
which he sets up as marks of his campaigns. Here, opposite the 
mouth of the Tartessus, they place the island Erythea, i. e. the red 
island on which the giant Geryon, i. e. " the roarer," guards the red 
oxen of the sun : Erythea is one of the islands near Cadiz ; Mullenhoff, 
Deutsche "Alterthumsk: " 1, 134 ff. 

2 Sail. "Jugurtha,"c. 19. 


have a local background in the luxuriant fertility and 
favoured climate of Madeira and the Canary islands. 

The land off the coast of which Gades lay, the valley 
of the Guadalquivir, was named by the Phenicians 
Tarsis (Tarshish), and by the Greeks Tartessus. The 
genealogical table in Genesis places Tarsis among the 
sons of Javan. The prophet Ezekiel represents the ships 
of Tarshish as bringing silver, iron, tin and lead to Tyre. 
" The ships of Tarshish," so he says to the city of Tyre, 
" were thy caravans ; so wert thou replenished and 
very glorious in the midst of the sea." l The Sicilian 
Stesichorus of Himera expresses himself in more 
extravagant terms. He sang of the "fountains of 
Tartessus (the Guadalquivir) rooted in silver." The 
Greeks represent the Tartessus, the river which brought 
down gold, tin, iron in its waters, as springing from 
the silver mountain, 2 and according to Herodotus 
the first Greek ship, a merchantman of Samos, which 
was driven about the year 630 B.C. by a storm from 
the east to Tartessus, made a profit of 60 talents. 3 
Aristotle tells us that the first Phenicians who sailed 
to Tartessus obtained so much silver in exchange for 
things of no value that the ships could not carry the 
burden, so that the Phenicians left behind the tackle 
and even the anchor they had brought with them and 
made new tackle of silver. 4 Poseidonius says that 
among that people it was not Hades, but Plutus, who 
dwelt in the under- world. Once the forests had been 
burned, and the silver and gold, melted by an enormous 
fire, flowed out on the surface; every hill and mountain 
became a heap of gold and silver. On the north-west 
of this land the ground shone with silver, tin and 

1 Ezek. xxvii. 12, 25. 

2 In Strabo, p. 148 ; MiiUenhofl, loc. cit. 1, 81. 

3 Herod. 4, 152. 4 "De rnirab. ausc." c. 147. 


white gold mixed with silver. This soil the rivers 
washed down with them. The women drew water from 
the river and poured it through sieves, so that nothing 
Imt gold, silver and tin remained in the sieve. 1 
Diodorus tells the same story of the ancient burning of 
the forests on the Pyrenees (from which fire they got 
their name), by which the silver ore was rendered 
fluid and oozed from the mountains, so that many 
streams were formed of pure silver. To the native 
inhabitants the value of silver was so little known 
that the Phenicians obtained it in exchange for small 
presents, and gained great treasures by carrying the 
silver to Asia and all other nations. The greed of 
the merchants went so far that when the ships were 
laden, and there was still a large quantity of silver 
remaining, they took off the lead from the anchors 
and replaced it with silver. Strabo assures us that 
the land through which the Baetis flows was not 
surpassed in fertility and all the blessings of earth 
and sea by any region in the world ; neither gold nor 
silver, copper nor iron, was found anywhere else in 
such abundance and excellence. The gold was not 
only dug up, but also obtained by washing, as the 
rivers and streams brought down sands of gold. In 
the sands of gold pieces were occasionally found half-a- 
pound in weight, and requiring very little purification. 
Stone salt was also found there, and there was abund- 
ance of house cattle and sheep, which produced excellent 
wool, of corn and wine. The coast of the shore beyond 
the pillars was covered with shell-fish and large purple- 
fish, and the sea was rich in fish (the tunnies and the 
Tartessian murena so much sought after in antiquity), 2 
which the ebb and flow of the tide brought up to 
the beach. Corn, wine, the best oil, wax, honey, 

1 In Strabo, p. 148. 2 Aristoph. Eanae," 475. 


pitch and cinnabar were exported from this fortunate 
land. 1 

If the Phenicians were able in the thirteenth century 
to settle upon Cyprus and Khodes, the islands of the 
^Egean and the coasts of Hellas, their population 
must have been numerous, their industry active, their 
trade lucrative. That subsequently in the twelfth 
century they also took into possession the coasts of 
Sicily, Sardinia and North Africa by means of their 
colonies is a proof that the request for the raw products 
and metals of the West was very lively and increasing 
in Syria and in Egypt, in Assyria and Babylonia. 
The market of these lands must have been very remu- 
nerative to the Phenicians in order to induce them 
to make their discoveries, their distant voyages and 
remote settlements. If the Phenicians about the year 
1100 B.C. were in a position to discover the straits of 
Gibraltar, the fact shows us that they must have 
practised navigation for a long time. The horizon of 
the Greek mariner ended even in the ninth century 
in the waters of Sicily, and in the fifth century B.C. 
the voyage of a Greek ship from the Syrian coast 
to the pillars of Heracles occupied 80 days. 2 After 
the founding of Gades the Phenicians ruled over the 
whole length of the Mediterranean by their harbour 
fortresses and factories. Their ships crossed the long 
basin in every direction, and everywhere they found 
harbours of safety. They showed themselves no less 
apt and inventive in the arts of navigation than the 
Babylonians had shown themselves in technical inven- 
tions and astronomy ; they were bolder and more 
enterprising than the Assyrians in the campaigns 
which the latter attempted at the time when the 

1 Diod. 5, 35 ; Strabo, p. 144 seqq. 

2 Scylax, "Peripl." c. 111. 


Phenicians were building Gades ; they were more 
venturesome and enduring on the water than their 
tribesmen the Arabians on the sandy sea of the desert. 
In the possession of the ancient civilisation of the East 
their mariners and merchants presented the same con- 
trast to the Thracians and Hellenes, the Sicels, the 
Libyans and Iberians which the Portuguese and the 
Spaniards presented 2500 years later to the tribes of 



Not far removed from the harbour-cities, whose ships 
discovered the land of silver, which carried the natural 
wealth of the West to the lands of the Euphrates and 
Tigris, and the Nile, in order to exchange them for the 
productions of those countries, in part immediately upon 
the borders of the marts which united the East and the 
West, and side by side with them, dwelt the Israelites 
on the heights and in the valleys which they had 
conquered, in very simple and original modes of life. 

Even during the war against the ancient population 
of Canaan, immediately after the first successes against 
the Amorites, they had, as we have seen, dropped 
any common participation in the struggle, any unity 
under one leader. According to their numbers and 
bravery, and the resistance encountered, the various 
tribes had won larger or smaller territories, better 
or inferior districts. Immigration and conquest did 
not lead among the Israelites to a combination of their 
powers under the supremacy of one leader, but rather 
to separation into clans and cantons, which was also 
favoured by the nature of the country conquered, a 
district lying in unconnected parts, and possessing no 
central region adapted for governing the whole. Thus, 
after the settlement, the life of the nation became 


divided into separate circles according to the position 
and character of the mountain canton which the 
particular tribe had obtained, and the fortune which it 
had experienced. Even if there was an invasion of 
the enemy, the tribe attacked was left to defend 
itself as well as it could. It was only very rarely, 
and in times of great danger, that the nobles and 
elders of the whole land, and a great number of the 
men of war from all the tribes, were collected round 
the sacred ark at Shiloh, at Bethel, at Mizpeh, or 
at Gilgal for common counsel or common defence. 
But even when a resolution was passed by the nobles 
and elders and the people, individual tribes some- 
times resisted, even by force of arms, the expressed 
will of the nation, or at least of a great part of the 
nobles and people, and the division of the tribes 
sometimes led even to open war. 

Within the tribes also there was no fixed arrangement, 
no fixed means for preserving peace. The clans and 
families for the most part possessed separate valleys, 
glens, or heights. The heads of the oldest families 
were also the governors of these cantons, and composed 
the differences between the members of the clan, canton, 
or city by their decisions ; while in other places bold 
and successful warriors at the head of voluntary bands 
made acquisitions, in which the descendants of the 
leader took the rank of elder and judge. Eminent 
houses of this kind, together with the heads of families 
of ancient descent, formed the order of nobles and 
elders ; " who hold the judge's staff in their hands, 
and ride on spotted asses with beautiful saddles, while 
the common people go afoot." l If a tribe fell into 
distress and danger, the nobles and elders assembled 
and took counsel, while the people stood round, unless 

1 Judges v. 10, 14 ; x. 4. 


some man of distinction had already risen and sum- 
moned the tribe to follow him. For the people did 
not adhere exclusively to the chief of the oldest family 
in the canton ; nobles and others within, and in special 
cases without, the tribe, who had obtained a prominent 
position by warlike actions, or by the wisdom of their 
decisions, whose position and power promised help, 
protection and the accomplishment of the sentence, 
were invited to remove strife and differences, unless 
the contending persons preferred to help themselves. 
Only the man who could not help himself sought, as a 
rule, the decision of the elder or judge. 

The names of some of the men whose decision was 
sought in that time have been preserved in the tradi- 
tion of the Israelites. Tholah of the tribe of Issachar, 
Jair of the land of Gilead, Ebzan of Bethlehem in the 
tribe of Judah, Elon of the tribe of Zebulun, and Abdon 
of Ephraim, are all mentioned as judges of note. Of 
Jair we are told that he had 30 sons, who rode on 30 
asses, and possessed 30 villages. Ebzan is also said to 
have had 30 sons and to have married 30 daughters ; 
while Abdon had 40 sons and 30 grandsons, who rode 
on 70 asses. 1 

On the heights and table-lands of the districts east 
of the Jordan, in the land of Gilead, were settled the 
tribes of Reuben and Gad and a part of the tribe of 
Manasseh. At an early period they grew together, so 
that the name of the region sometimes represents the 
names of these tribes. Here the pastoral life and breed- 
ing of cattle remained predominant, as in the less pro- 
ductive districts on the west of the Jordan. But on 
the plains and in the valleys of the west the greater 
part of the settlers devoted themselves to the culture 
of the vine and agriculture. The walls of the ancient 

1 Judges x. 1 5 ; xii. 8 15. 


cities were at first used as a protection against the 
attacks of robbers, or raids of enemies; the inhabit- 
ants, afterwards as before, planted their fields and 
vineyards outside the gates. 1 But the custom of 
dwelling together led to the beginnings of civic life, 
industrial skill, and common order. The trade of the 
Phenicians, which touched the land of the Hebrews 
here and there, and the more advanced culture of the 
cities of the coast, could not remain without influence 
on the Hebrews. 

The religious feeling which separated the Israelites 
from the Canaanites was not more thoroughly effective 
than the community of blood and the contrast to the 
ancient population of the land in bringing about the 
combination and union of the Israelites. The religious 
life was as much without organisation as the civic ; 
on the contrary, as the Israelites spread as settlers over 
a larger district, the unity and connection of religious 
worship which Moses previously established again fell 
to the ground. It is true, the sacred ark remained at 
Shiloh, five leagues to the north of Bethel, under the 
sacred tent in the land of the tribe of Ephraim. At 
this place a festival was held yearly in honour of 
Jehovah, to which the Israelites assembled to offer 
prayer and sacrifice. On other occasions also people 
went to Shiloh to offer sacrifice. 2 The priestly office 
in the sacred tent at the sacred ark remained with the 
descendants of Aaron, in the family of Phinehas, the 
son of Eleazar, the eldest son of Aaron (I. 497). 
But with the settlement a number of other places of 
sacrifice had risen up beside the sanctuary at Shiloh. 
On the heights and under the oaks at Raman in the 
land of Benjamin, at Mizpeh in the same district, as 
well as at Mizpeh beyond Jordan, where Jacob and 

1 e. g. Judges ix. 27. 2 Judges xxi. 19; 1 Sam. i. 3 ; ii. 13. 


Laban had parted in peace, 1 at Bethel on the borders 
of the land of Ephraim. and Benjamin, where Abraham, 
sacrificed (between Bethel and Ai) and Jacob received 
the name of Israel ; 2 finally at Grilgal on the east of 
Jordan, where Joshua lay encamped, and kept the pass- 
over, before he attacked Jericho, Jehovah was invoked. 
At these places also the firstlings of the fruits were 
offered ; goats, rams, and bulls were offered, with or 
without the intervention of the priest, and inquiry 
made for the will of Jehovah without priestly help or 
intervention. Any one who set up an altar estab- 
lished a priest there, or hired a priest. For this pur- 
pose men were chosen who claimed to be of the race of 
Moses and Aaron, just as the service of the sacred ark 
at Shiloh was in the hands of this family ; but men of 
other origin and tribes were not excluded even from the 
priesthood at the ark. 3 

In such a want of any defined and influential 
position of the priesthood, in the want of any church 
organisation, it was only the superior personal power of 
the priests at Shiloh which could protect the religious 
feeling and traditional custom against the influences 
of the new surroundings, and Canaanitish rites. Tra- 
dition, at any rate from the first third of the eleventh 
century B.C., had no good to tell of the morals of the 
priests at Shiloh. To those who came to bring an 
offering the servant of the priest said, " Give flesh to 
roast for the priest ; he will not have it sodden but 
raw." If the person sacrificing replied, " We will burn 
only the fat, then take what you desire," the servant 
answered, " You must give it me now, and if you will 
not I shall take it by force." If the priest desired 
cooked flesh from the sacrifice, he sent his servant, who 

1 Judges xx. 1 ; vol. i. 410. 2 1 Sam. x. 3 ; vol. i. 390, 411. 

3 Judges xvii. 5, 10 ; xviii. 30 ; 1 Sam. vii. 1 ; 2, vi. 3. 


struck with his three-pronged fork into the cauldron, 
and what he brought out was the priest's. 

The religious views of the Israelites, not sufficiently 
represented among themselves, were the more exposed 
to the influence of the rites of the Canaanites, as these 
rites belonged to tribes of kindred nature and character. 
In this way it came about that the Canaanitish gods 
Baal and Astarte were worshipped beside Jehovah, the 
god of Israel, and that in one or two places the old 
worship was perhaps entirely driven out by these new 
gods. But even where this did not take place, it 
was owing to the example and impulse of the Syrian 
modes of worship that images were here and there 
set up on the altars of Jehovah. When the conception 
of the divine nature in the spirit of a nation passes 
beyond the first undefined feeling and intimation, 
when it receives a plainer and more expressive shape 
in the minds of men, and the first steps of artistic and 
technical skill, or the example of neighbours, are coin- 
cident with this advance, the general result is that 
men desire to see the ruling powers fixed in distinct 
forms, then the gods are presented in a realistic manner 
in visible forms and images. And thus it was among 
the Israelites. The command of Moses given in oppo- 
sition to the images of Egypt (I. 354) was long since 
forgotten. Michah, a man of the tribe of Ephraim, 
caused a goldsmith to make a carved and molten image 
of Jehovah of 200 shekels of silver ; and set it up in a 
temple on Mount Ephraim, establishing as a priest a 
Levite, the " descendant of Moses." When a part of 
Dan marched northwards in order to win for them- 
selves abodes there, which they could not conquer from 
the Philistines, the men of Dan carried off this image 
along with the Levite and set it up in the city of Laish 
(Dan), which they took from the Sidonians (I. 371), 


and the "grandson of Moses" and his descendants con- 
tinued to be priests before this image. 1 At Nob also there 
was a gilded image of Jehovah, and many had Teraphim, 
or images of gods in the form of men, in their houses. 2 

Nothing important was undertaken before inquiry 
was made of the will of Jehovah. The inquiry was 
made as a rule by casting lots before the sacred 
tabernacle at Shiloh, before the altars and images of 
Jehovah, 3 or by questioning the priests and sooth- 
sayers. Counsel was also taken of these if a cow had 
gone astray, and they received in return bread or a 
piece of money. 

Of the feuds which the tribes of Israel carried on 
at this time, some have remained in remembrance. 4 
The concubine of a Levite, so we are told in the 
book of Judges, who dwelt on Mount Ephraim, ran 
away from her husband ; she went back to her father, 
to Bethlehem in Judah. Her husband rose and 
followed her, pacified her, and then set out on his 
return. The first evening they reached the city of the 
Jebusites, but the Levite would not pass the night 
among the Canaanites (I. 500), and turned aside to 
Gibeah, a place in the tribe of Benjamin. Here no 
one received the travellers ; they were compelled to 
remain in the street till an old man came home late in 
the evening from his work in the field. When he 
heard that the traveller was from Ephraim he received 
him into his house, for he was himself an Ephraimite, 
gave fodder to the asses of the Levite and his concubine, 

1 Judges xvii. ff. 

2 1 Sam. xix. 13 16; xxi. 9; Gen. xxxi. 34; Judges xyii. 5; xviii. 
14, 17 ; 2 Kings xxiii. 24. 

3 e. g. Judges vi. 36 40 ; xviii. 5 ; xx. 18 ff. The priests wore a 
pocket with lots (apparently small stones) on the breast. The Urim 
and Thummim of the High Priest was originally nothing but these 

4 On the composition of the Book of Judges, cf. De Wette-Schrader, 
" Einleitung," 325 ff. 


and placed his attendant with his own servants. 
Then they washed their feet, and drank, and their 
hearts were merry. But the men of Gibeah collected 
round the house in the evening, pressed on the door, 
and demanded that the stranger from Ephraim should 
be given up to them ; they wished to destroy him. In 
order to save himself the priest gave up to them his 
concubine, that they might satisfy their passions on 
her. The men of Gibeah abused her the whole night 
through, so that next morning she lay dead upon the 
threshold. The Levite went with the corpse to his 
home at Ephraim, cut it into twelve pieces with a 
knife, and sent a piece to each tribe. Every one 
who saw it said, " The like was never heard since 
Israel came out of Egypt." And the chiefs of the 
nation assembled and pronounced a curse upon him 
who did not come to Mizpah (in the land of Benjamin) 
that he should be put to death. Then all the tribes 
assembled at Mizpah, it is said about 400,000 men ; x 
only from Jabesh in Gilead and the tribe of Benjamin 
no one came. The Levite told what had happened to 
him, and the tribes sent messengers to Benjamin, to 
bring the men of Gibeah. But the children of Benjamin 
refused, and assembled their men of war, more than 
26,000 in number, and took up arms. Then the 
people rose up and said, " Cursed be he who gives a 
wife to Benjamin." ' Every tenth man was sent back 
for supplies ; the rest marched out against Benjamin. 
But " Benjamin was a ravening wolf, who ate up the 
spoil at morning and divided the booty in the even- 
ing ; " they were mighty archers, and could throw with 
the left hand as well as the right. 3 They fought twice 

1 In David's time only 270,000 are given : below, chap. 7. 

2 Judges xx. 8 ; xxi. 7 18. 

3 Gen. xlix. 27; Judges xx. 16; 1 Chron. viii. 39 ; xii. 2; 2 
Chron. xiv. 7. 


at G-ibeah with success against their countrymen. Not 
till the third contest did the Israelites gain the victory, 
and then only by an ambuscade and counterfeit flight. 
After this overthrow the whole tribe is said to have 
been massacred, the flocks and herds destroyed, and 
the cities burnt. Only 600 men, as we are told, 
escaped to the rock Bimmon on the Dead Sea. 
When the community again assembled at Bethel the 
people were troubled that a tribe should be extirpated 
and wanting in Israel ; so they caused peace and a 
safe return to be proclaimed to the remainder of Ben- 
jamin. And when 12,000 men were sent out against 
Jabesh to punish the city because none of their in- 
habitants came to the gathering at Mizpeh, they were 
ordered to spare the maidens of Jabesh. In obedience 
to this command they brought 400 maidens back from 
Jabesh, and these were given to the Benjamites. But 
as this number was insufficient the Benjamites were 
allowed, when the yearly festival was held at Shiloh 
(p. 92), and the daughters of Shiloh came out to dance 
before the city, to rush out from the vineyards and carry 
off wives for themselves. Thus does tradition explain 
the non-execution of the decree that no Israelite should 
give his daughter to wife to a man of Benjamin, and the 
rescue of the tribe of Benjamin from destruction. 1 

Without unity and connection in their political and 
religious life, amid the quarrels and feuds of the tribes, 
families and individuals, when every one helped and 
avenged himself, and violence and cruelty abounded, 
in the lawless condition when " every one in Israel 
did what was right in his own eyes," the Israelites 

1 These events belong, according to Judges xx. 27 ff., to the period 
immediately after the conquest : as a fact, the war against Benjamin 
is not to be placed long after this, i. e. about 1200 B.C. Cf. De Wette- 
Schrader, " Einleitung," S. 326. 



were in danger of becoming the prey of every external 
foe, and it was a question whether they could long 
maintain the land they had won. It was fortunate 
that there was no united monarchy at the head either 
of the Philistines or the Phenicians, that the latter 
were intent on other matters, as their colonies in 
the Mediterranean, while the cities of the Philistines, 
though they acquired a closer combination as early as 
the eleventh century B.C., or even earlier (I. 348), did 
not, at least at first, go out to make foreign conquests. 
But it was unavoidable that the old population, especi- 
ally in the north, where they remained in the greatest 
numbers amongst the Israelites, should again rise and 
find strong points of support in the Canaanite princes 
of Hazor and Damascus ; that the Moabites who lay to 
the east of the Dead Sea, the Ammonites, the neighbours 
of the land of Gilead, that the wandering tribes of the 
Syrian desert should feel themselves tempted to invade 
Israel, to carry off the flocks and plunder the harvests 
and, if they found no vigorous resistance, to take up a 
permanent settlement in the country. Without the 
protection of natural borders, without combination 
and guidance, as they were, the Israelites could only 
succeed in resisting such attacks when in the time of 
danger a skilful and brave warrior was found, who 
was able to rouse his own tribe, and perhaps one or 
two of the neighbouring tribes, to a vigorous resistance, 
or to liberation if the enemy was already in the land. 
It is the deeds of such heroes, and almost these alone, 
which remained in the memory of the Israelites from 
the first two centuries following their settlement ; and 
these narratives, in part fabulous, must represent the 
history of Israel for this period. 

Eglon, king of Moab, defeated the Israelites, passed 
over the Jordan, took Jericho, and here established 


himself. With Gilead the tribe of Benjamin, which 
dwelt nearest to Jericho, at first must have felt with 
especial weight the oppression of Moab. For 18 years 
the Israelites are said to have served Eglon. Then 
Ehud, of the tribe of Benjamin, a reputed great grand- 
son of the youngest son of Jacob, the father of the Ben- 
jamites, came with others to Jericho to bring tribute. 
When the tax had been delivered Ehud desired to 
speak privately with the king. Permission was given, 
and Ehud went with a two-edged sword in his hand, 
under his garment, to the king, who sat alone in the 
cool upper chamber. Ehud spoke : "I have a mes- 
sage from God to thee ; " and when Eglon rose to 
receive the message Ehud smote him with the sword 
in the belly, "so that even the haft went in, and 
the fat closed over the blade, for the king of Moab 
was a very fat man. But Ehud went down to the 
court, and closed the door behind him." When the 
servants found the door closed they thought that the 
king had covered his feet for sleep. At last they 
took the key and found the king dead on the floor. 
But Ehud blew the trumpet on Mount Ephraim, 
assembled a host, seized the fords of Jordan, and 
slew about 10,000 Moabites, and the Moabites retired 
into their old possessions. 1 

Another narrative tells of the fortunes of the tribes 
of Naphtali, Zebulun, and Issachar, which were settled 
in the north, under Mount Hermon. Jabin, king of 
Hazor, had chariots of iron, and Sisera his captain 
was a mighty warrior, and for 20 years they oppressed 
the Israelites. 2 Deborah, the wife of Lapidoth, of the 
tribe of Issachar, dwelt in the land of Benjamin, 
between Bethel and Ramah, under the palm-tree ; she 
could announce the will of Jehovah, and the people 

1 Judges iii. 12 ff. 2 Judges iv., v. 


100 ISRAEL. 

came to her to obtain counsel and judgment. At her 
command Barak, the son of Abinoam, assembled the 
men of the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali ; assistance 
also came from Issachar, Manasseh, Ephraim and 
Benjamin. Sisera went forth with 900 chariots and a 
great host and the Israelites retired before him to the 
south of the brook Kishon. Sisera crossed the brook 
and came upon the Israelites in the valley of Megiddo ; 
he was defeated, leapt from his chariot, and fled on 
foot and came unto the tent of Heber the Kenite. 
Jael, Heber's wife, met him and said, " Turn in, my 
lord, to me ; fear not." When in his thirst he asked 
for water, she opened the bottle of milk and allowed 
him to drink, and when he lay down to rest she 
covered him with the carpet. Being wearied, he sank 
into a deep sleep. Then Jael softly took the nail of the 
tent and a hammer in her hand, and smote the nail 
through his temples so that it passed into the earth. 
When Barak, who pursued the fugitive, came, Jael 
said, " I will show thee the man whom thou seekest," 
and led him into the tent where Sisera lay dead on the 

Israel's song of victory is as follows : " Listen, ye 
kings ; give ear, ye princes ; I will sing to Jehovah, 
I will play on the harp of Jehovah, the king of Israel. 
There were no princes in Israel till I, Deborah, arose 
a mother in Israel. Arise, Barak ; bring forth thy 
captives, thou son of Abinoam. Shout, ye that ride 
on she-asses, and ye that sit upon carpets, and ye 
that go on foot, and let the people come down into 
the plain, to the gates of the cities. Then I said, 
Go down, people of Jehovah, against the strong ; a 
small people against the mighty. From Ephraim they 
came and from Benjamin, from Machir (i. e. from the 
Manassites on the east of the lake of Gennesareth) the 


rulers came, and the chiefs of Issachar were with 
Deborah, and Zebulun is a people which perilled his 
life to the death, and Naphtali on the heights of the 
field. On the streams of Keuben there was taking of 


counsel, but why didst thou sit still among the herds 
to hear the pipe of the herdsmen ? Gilead also 
remained beyond Jordan, and Asher abode on the 
shore of the sea in his valleys, and Dan on his heights. 
The kings came, they fought at the water of Megiddo ; 
they gained no booty of silver. Issachar, the support 
of Barak, threw himself in the valley at his heels. The 
brook Kishon washed away the enemy : a brook of 
battles is the brook Kishon. Go forth, my soul, 
upon the strong. Blessed above women shall Jael 
be, above women in the tent. He asked for water, 
she gave him milk ; she brought him cream in a 
lordly dish. She put forth her hand to the nail, and 
her right hand to the workman's hammer, and she 
smote Sisera, she shattered and pierced his temples. 
Between her feet he lay shattered. The mother of 
Sisera looked from her window ; she called through the 
lattice : 'Why linger his chariots in returning ? why 
delay the wheels of his chariot ? ' Her wise maidens 
answered her ; nay, she answered herself : ' Will they 
not find spoil and divide it ; one or two maidens to 
each, spoil of broidered robes for Sisera ? ' So must 
all thine enemies perish, O Jehovah, but may those 
who love him be as the sun going forth in his strength." 
Whether this song was composed by Deborah, or by 
some other person in her name, it is certainly an 
ancient song of victory and contemporary with the 
events it celebrates. 

The tribes of Israel also which were settled in the 
land of Gilead remembered with gratitude a mighty 
warrior who had once delivered them from grievous 

102 ISRAEL. 

oppression. The Ammonites, the eastern neighbours 
of the land of Gilead, oppressed "the sons of Israel 
who dwelt beyond Jordan" for 18 years, and marched 
over Jordan against Judah, Benjamin and the house 
of Ephraim. Then the elders of the land of Gilead 
bethought them of Jephthah (Jephthah means " freed 
from the yoke "), to whom they had formerly refused 
the inheritance of his father because he was not the 
son of the lawful wife, but of a courtezan. He had 
retired into the gorges of the mountain and col- 
lected round him a band of robbers, and done deeds 
of bravery. To him the elders went; he was to be 
their leader in fighting against the sons of Ammon. 
Jephthah said, " Have ye not driven me out of the 
house of my father ? now that ye are in distress ye 
come to me." Still he followed their invitation, and 
the people of Gilead gathered round him at Mizpeh 
and made him their chief and leader. " If I return 
in triumph from the sons of Ammon," such was Jeph- 
thah's vow, " the first that meets me at the door of 
my house shall be dedicated to Jehovah, and I will 
sacrifice it as a burnt-offering." When he had asked 
the tribe of Ephraim for assistance in vain he set out 
against the Ammonites with the warriors of the tribes of 
Reuben, Gad and Manasseh, and overcame them in a 
great battle on the river Arnon. The Ephraimites 
made it a reproach against Jephthah that he had 
fought against the Ammonites without them ; they 
crossed the Jordan in arms. But Jephthah said, "I 
was in straits, and my people with me ; I called to 
you, but ye aided me not." He assembled the men of 
Gilead, defeated the Ephraimites, and came to the 
fords of the Jordan before the fugitives, so that more 
than 42,000 men of Ephraim are said to have been slain. 
When he returned to his home at Mizpeh his 


only daughter came to meet him joyfully, with her 
maidens and timbrels and dancing. Jephthah tore 
his garments and cried, " My daughter, thou hast 
brought me very low ; I have opened my mouth to 
Jehovah and cannot take it back." " My father," she 
answered, " if thou hast opened thy mouth to Jehovah, 
do to me as thou hast spoken, for Jehovah has given 
thee vengeance on thine enemies, the Ammonites. 
But first let me go with my companions to the 
mountains, and there for two months bewail my vir- 
ginity." This was done, and on her return Jephthah 
did to her according to his vow. Arid it was a custom 
in Israel for the maidens to lament the daughter of 
Jephthah for four days in the year. After this 
Jephthah is said to have been judge for six years 
longer beyond Jordan, i. e. to have maintained the 
peace in these districts. 

Grievous calamity came upon Israel in this period 
from a migratory people of the Syrian desert, from 
the incursions of the Midians, who, like the Moabites 
and Ammonites, are designated in Genesis as a nation 
kindred to the Israelites, with whom Moses was said 
to have entered into close relations (I. 449, 468). 
Now the Midianites with other tribes of the desert at- 
tacked Israel in constant predatory incursions. " Like 
locusts in multitude," we are told, " the enemy came 
with their flocks and tents ; there was no end of them 
and their camels. When Israel had sowed the sons of 
the East came up and destroyed the increase of the 
land as far as Gaza, and left no sustenance remaining, 
no sheep, oxen and asses. And the sons of Israel were 
compelled to hide themselves in ravines, and caves, and 
mountain fortresses." l For seven years Israel is said 
to have been desolated in this manner. Beside the 

1 Judges vi. 2 5. 

104 ISRAEL. 

tribes of Issachar and Zebulun, between Mount Tabor 
and the Kishon, dwelt a part of the tribe of Manasseh. 
The family of Abiezer, belonging to this tribe, possessed 
Ophra. In an incursion of the Midianites the sons of 
Joash, a man of this family, were slain ; l only Gideon, 
the youngest, remained. When the Midianites came 
again, after their wont, at the time of harvest, and 
encamped on the plain of Jezreel, and Gideon was 
beating wheat in the vat of the wine-press in order to 
save the corn from the Midianites, Jehovah aroused him. 
He gathered the men of his family around him, 300 
in number. 2 When Jehovah had given him a favour- 
able sign, and he had reconnoitred the camp of the 
Midianites, together with his armour-bearer Phurah, he 
determined to attack them in the night. He divided his 
troop into companies containing a hundred men ; each 
took a trumpet and a lighted torch, which was concealed 
in an earthen pitcher. These companieswere to approach 
the camp of the Midianites from three sides, and when 
Gideon blew the trumpet and disclosed his torch they 
were all to do the same. Immediately after the second 
night-watch, when the Midianites had just changed the 
guards, Gideon gave the signal. All broke their pitchers, 
blew their trumpets, and cried, " The sword for Jeho- 
vah and Gideon ! " Startled, terrified, and imagining 
that they were attacked by mighty hosts, the Midianites 
fled. Then the men of Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun and 
Naphtali arose, and Gideon hastily sent messengers to 

1 Judges viii. 19. 

2 The observation that Gideon was the least in the house of his 
father, and his family the weakest in Manasseh (Judges vi. 15), 
is due no doubt to the tendency of the Ephraimitic text to show 
how strong Jehovah is even in the weak. From similar motives it is 
said that Gideon himself reduced his army to 300 men (Judges vii. 
2 6). In the presence of the Ephraimites Gideon speaks only of the 
family of Abiezer. 


the Ephraimites that they should seize the fords "of 
Jordan before the Midianites. The Ephraimites as- 
sembled and took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb 
(Raven) and Zeeb (Wolf). The Ephraimites strove 
with Gideon that he had not summoned them sooner. 
Gideon replied modestly, " Is not the gleaning of the 
grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? 
Did not Jehovah give the princes of Midian into your 
hand ? Could I do what ye have done ? " He pur- 
sued the Midianites over the Jordan in order to get 
into his power their princes Zebah and Zalmunna, 
who had previously slain his brothers. When he 
passed the river at Succoth he asked the men of 
Succoth to give bread to his wearied soldiers. But 
the elders feared the vengeance of the Midianites, 
arid said, "Are Zebah and Zalmunna already in thine 
hand, that we should give bread to thy men ? " 
Gideon replied in anger, " If Jehovah gives them into 
my hand I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the 
wilderness and with briers." The inhabitants of Penuel 
on the Jabbok also, to which Gideon marched, refused 
to feed their countrymen ; like those of Succoth, they 
feared the Midianites. Gideon led his army by the 
way of the dwellers in tents far away to Karkor. Here 
he defeated and scattered the 15,000 Midianites who 
had escaped, and captured the two princes. Then he 
turned back to Succoth and said to the elders, " See, 
here are Zebah and Zalmunna, for whom ye mocked 
me." He caused them to be seized, seventy-seven in 
number, and tore them to death with thorns and briers. 
The tower of Penuel he destroyed, and caused the in- 
habitants of the place to be slain. To the captured 
princes he said, " What manner of men were they 
whom ye once slew at Tabor ? " And they answered, 
" As thou art, they looked like the sons of a king." 

106 ISEAEL. 

" They were my brethren, the sons of my mother," 
Gideon answered. "As Jehovah liveth, if ye had 
saved them alive I would not slay you. Stand up," 
he called to his first-born son Jether, "and slay them." 
But the youth feared and drew not his sword, for he 
was yet young. " Slay us thyself," said the prisoners, 
" for as the man is, so is his strength." This was done. 
When the booty was divided Gideon claimed as his 
share the golden ear-rings of the slain Midianites. 
They were collected in Gideon's mantle, and the weight 
reached 1700 shekels of gold, beside the purple raiment 
of the dead kings, and the moons and chains on the 
necks of the camels. 

Gideon had gained a brilliant victory ; no more is 
heard of the raids of the Midianites. Out of the booty 
he set up a gilded image (ephod) at Ophra. 1 He over- 
threw the altar of Baal and the image of Astarte in his 
city ; and this, as is expressly stated, in the night 
(from which we must conclude that the inhabitants 
of Ophra were attached to this worship) ; and in the 
place of it he set up an altar to Jehovah on the 
height, and in the city another altar, which he called 
"Jehovah, peace." "Unto this day it is still in 

After the liberation of the land, which was owing to 
him, Gideon held the first place in Israel. We are 
told that the crown had been offered to him and that 
he refused it. 2 But if Gideon left 70 sons of his body 
by many wives, if we find that his influence descended 
to his sons, he must have held an almost royal position, 
in which a harem was not wanting. He died, as it 

1 What is meant in Judges viii. 27 by an ephod is not clear. The 
words which follow in the verse that all Israel went whoring after 
Gideon are obviously an addition of the prophetic revision. 

* Judges viii. 22. 


seems, in a good old age, and was buried in the grave 
of his fathers (after 1150 B.C. 1 ). 

The same need of protection which preserved Gideon 
in power till his death had induced some cities to form 
a league, after the pattern of the cities of the Philis- 
tines, for mutual support and security. Shechem, 
the old metropolis of the tribe of Ephraim, was the 
chief city of this league. Here on the citadel at 
Shechem the united cities had built a temple to Baal 
Berith, i. e. to Baal of the league, and established a 
fund for the league in the treasury of this temple. 
One of the 70 sons of Gideon, the child of a woman of 
Shechem, by name Abimelech, conceived the plan of 
establishing a monarchy in Israel by availing himself 
of Gideon's name and memory, the desire for order and 
protection from which the league had arisen, and the 
resources of the cities. At first he sought to induce 
the cities to make him their chief. Supported by them, 
he sought to remove his brothers and to take the 
monarchy into his own hands as the only heir of 
Gideon. A skilful warrior like Abimelech, who carried 
with him the fame and influence of a great father, 
must have been welcome to the cities as a leader and 
chief in such wild times. Abimelech spoke to the 
men of Shechem : " Consider that I am your bone and 
your flesh ; which is better, that 70 men rule over you 
or I only ? " Then the citizens of Shechem and the 
inhabitants of the citadel assembled under the oak of 
Shechem and made Abimelech their king, and gave 
him 70 shekels of silver from the temple of Baal 
Berith, " that he might be able to pay people to serve 
him." "With these and the men of Shechem who followed 

1 Gideon's date can only be fixed very indefinitely. lie and the 
generations after him must have belonged to the second half of the 
twelfth century B.C. 

108 ISRAEL. 

him he marched and slew all his brethren at Ophra in 
his father's house (one only, Jotham, escaped him), and 
Israel obeyed him. Abimelech seemed to have reached 
his object. Perhaps he might have maintained the 
throne thus won by blood had he not, three years 
afterwards, quarrelled with the cities which helped him 
to power. The cities rose against him. Abimelech 
with his forces went against the chief city, Shechem. 
The city was taken and destroyed, the inhabitants 
massacred. About 1000 men and women fled for refuge 
into the temple of Baal Berith in the citadel ; Abime- 
lech caused them to be burned along with the temple. 
Then he turned from Shechem to Thebez, some miles 
to the north. When he stormed the city the inhabit- 
ants fled into the strong tower, closed it, and went up 
on the roof of the tower. Abimelech pressed on to 
the door of the tower to set it on lire, when a woman 
threw a stone down from above which fell on Abime- 
lech and broke his skull. Then the king called to his 
armour-bearer, "Draw thy sword and slay me, that it 
may not be said, A woman slew him." The youthful 
monarchy was wrecked on this quarrel of the citizens 
with the new king. 

After this time Eli the priest at the sacred taber- 
nacle, a descendant of Ithamar, the youngest son of 
Aaron, 1 is said to have been in honour among the 
Israelites. Not only was he the priest of the national 
shrine, but counsel and judgment were also sought from 
him. But Eli's sons, Hophni and Phinehas ; did evil, 
and lay with the women who came to the sacred taber- 
nacle to offer prayer and sacrifice. 2 

1 Joseph. " Antiq." 5, 11, 5. 2 1 Sam. ii. 2225. 



MORE than a century and a half had passed since the 
Israelites had won their land in Canaan. The greater 
part of the tribes, beside the breeding of cattle, were 
occupied with the cultivation of vines and figs, and 
regular agriculture ; the minority had become accus- 
tomed to life in settled cities, and the earliest stages 
of industry ; but the unity of the nation was lost, 
and in the place of the religious fervour which once 
accompanied the exodus from Egypt, the rites of the 
Syrian deities had forced their way in alongside of the 
worship of Jehovah. The division and disorganisation 
of the nation had exposed the Israelites to the attacks 
of their neighbours ; the attempt of Abimelech to 
establish a monarchy in connection with the cities had 
failed ; the anarchy still continued. Worse dangers still 
might be expected in the future. The forces of the 
Moabites, Midianites, and Ammonites were not superior 
to that of the Israelites, the attacks of the tribes of the 
desert were of a transitory nature ; but what if the cities 
of the coast, superior in civilisation, art, and combined 
power, should find it convenient when the affairs of 
Israel were in this position to extend their borders to the 
interior, and Israel should be gradually subjugated from 
the coast ? From the Phenicians there was nothing to 
fear : navigation and trade entirely occupied them ; 

110 ISRAEL. 

from the beginning of the eleventh century their ships 
devoted their attention to discoveries in the Atlantic 
Ocean, beyond the straits of Gibraltar (p. 83). The 
case was different with the warlike cities of the Philis- 
tines. If the Philistines were behind the Israelites in 
the extent of their territory and dominion, their forces 
were held together and well organised by means of 
the confederation of the cities. Bounded to the west 
by the sea, and to the south by the desert, the only 
path open to them for extending their power was in 
the direction of the Hebrews. For a long time they 
had been content to put a limit upon the extension of 
the tribes of Judah and Dan, but in the first half of the 
eleventh century B.C. the condition of Israel appeared 
to the federation of the Philistines sufficiently inviting 
to induce them to pass from defence to attack. Their 
blows fell first on Judah, Simeon, and the part of Dan 
which had remained in the south on the borders of the 
Philistines ; tribes which had hitherto been exempted 
from attack, whose territory had been protected by 
the deserts on the south, and the Dead Sea on the 
east. But now they were attacked from the direction 
of the sea. The struggle with the Philistines was not 
a matter of rapine and plunder, but of freedom and 
independence. The aim of the five princes of the 
Philistines (I. 348) was directed towards the extension 
of their own borders and their own dominion, and the 
war against the Israelites was soon carried on with 
vigour. The tribes of Judah and Dan were reduced 
to submission. 1 If the Israelites did not succeed in 
uniting their forces, if they could not repair what was 
neglected at the conquest, and had since been at- 
tempted in vain, the suppression of their independence, 
their religious and national life, appeared certain. The 

1 Judges xiii. 1 ; xiv. 4 ; xv. 11 ; 1 Sam. iv. 9. 


question was whether the nation of Israel, accustomed 
to an independent and defiant life in small communities, 
and corrupted by it, possessed sufficient wisdom and 
devotion to solve the difficult task now laid upon it. 

It was a melancholy time for Israel when the Philis- 
tines ruled over the south of the land. Later gener- 
ations found some comfort for this national disgrace 
in the narratives of the strong and courageous Samson, 
the son of Manoah, of the tribe of Dan, whose deeds 
were placed by tradition in this period. He had done 
the Philistines much mischief, and slain many of them ; 
even when his foolish love for a Philistine maiden 
finally brought him to ruin, he slew more Philistines 
at his death than in his life " about 3000 men and 
women." 1 Whatever be the truth about these deeds, 
no individual effort could avail to save Israel when 
the Philistines seriously set themselves to conquer 
the northern tribes, unless the nation roused itself 
and combined all its forces under one definite head. 

1 In Samson, who overcomes the lion, and sends out the foxes 
with firebrands, who overthrows the pillars of the temple, and buries 
himself under it, Steinthal ("Zeitschrift fur Volkerpsychologie, " 2, 
21) recognises the sun-god of the Syrians. The name Samson means 
as a fact " the sunny one." The long hair in which Samson's strength 
lay may symbolise the growth of nature in the summer, and the 
cutting off of it the decay of creative power in the winter : so too the 
binding of Samson may signify the imprisoned power of the sun in 
winter. As Melkarth in the winter went to rest at his pillars in the 
far west, at the end of his wanderings, so Samson goes to his rest 
between the two pillars in the city on the shore of the western sea. If, 
finally, Samson becomes the servant of a mistress Dalilah i. e. "the 
tender " this also is a trait which belongs to the myth of Melkarth ; cf. 
I. 371. It is not to be denied that traits of this myth have forced 
their way into the form and legend of Samson, although the long hair 
belongs not to Samson only, but to Samuel and all the Nazarites ; yet 
we must not from these traits draw the conclusion that the son of 
Manoah is no more than a mythical figure, and even those traits must 
have gone through many stages among the Israelites before they could 
assume a form of such vigorous liveliness, such broad reality, as we 
find pourtrayed in the narrative of Samson. 

112 ISRAEL. 

The Philistines invaded the land of Ephraim with a 
mighty army, and forced their way beyond it north- 
wards as far as Aphek, two leagues to the south of 
Tabor. At Tabor the Israelites assembled and at- 
tempted to check the Philistines, but they failed ; 4000 
Israelites were slain. Then the elders of Israel, in 
order to encourage the people, caused the ark of 
Jehovah to be brought from Shiloh into the camp. 
Eli, the priest at the sacred tabernacle, was of the age of 
98 years. Hophni and Phinehas, his sons, accompanied 
the sacred ark, which was welcomed by the army with 
shouts of joy. In painful expectation Eli sat at the 
gate of Shiloh and awaited the result. Then a man 
of the tribe of Benjamin came in haste, with his clothes 
rent, and earth upon his head, and said, " Israel is fled 
before the Philistines, thy sons are dead, and the ark 
of God is lost." Eli fell backwards from his seat, broke 
his neck, and died. About 30,000 men are said to 
have fallen in the battle (about 1070 B.C.). 1 

1 The simplest method of obtaining a fixed starting-point for the 
date of the foundation of the monarchy in Israel is to reckon backwards 
from the capture of Jerusalem, and the destruction of the temple by 
Nebuchadnezzar. According to the canon of Ptolemy, Nebuchad- 
nezzar's reign began in the year 604 B.C., the temple and Jerusalem 
were burned down in the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar (2 
Kings xxv. 8 ; Jer. Hi. 12), i, e. in the year 586 B.C. From this year the 
Hebrews reckoned 430 years to the commencement of the building of 
the temple (430 = 37 years of Solomon since the beginning of the 
building + 261 years from the death of Solomon to the taking of 
Samaria + 132 years from the taking of Samaria to the destruction 
of the temple). Hence the building of the temple was commenced 
in the year 1015 B.C. Since the commencement of the building is 
placed in the fourth year of Solomon, his accession would fall in the 
year 1018 B.C.; and as 40 years are allotted to David, his accession at 
Hebron falls in 1058 B.C., and Saul's election about 1080 B.C. In the 
present text only the number two is left of the amount of the years of 
his reign (1 Sam. xiii. 1), the years of his life also are lost ; we may 
perhaps assume 22 years for his reign, since Eupolemus gives him 21 
years (Alex. Polyh. Frag. 18, ed. Miiller), and Josephus 20 (" Antiq." 
6, 14, 9. 10, 8, 4). His contemporary, Nahash of Ammon, is on the 


At the sacred tabernacle at Shiloh Samuel the son 
of Elkanah had served under Eli. Elkanah was an 

throne before the election of Saul, and continues beyond the death of 
Saul and Ishbosheth, and even 10 years into the reigr. of David. 
Nahash must have had an uncommonly long reign if Saul reigned 
more than 22 years. It makes against the dates 1080 B.C. for S'aul, 
1058 B.C. for David, 1018 B.C. for Solomon, that they rest upon tne 
succession of kings of Judah, from the division of the kingdom down 
to the fall of Samaria, which is reckoned at 261 years, while the 
succession of kings of Israel during the same period only fills 241 
years. Movers (" Phoeniz." 2, 1, 140 ff.) has attempted to remove this 
difficulty by assuming as a starting-point the statements of Menander 
of Ephesus, on the succession of kings in Tyre, preserved in Josephus 
("c. Apion," 1, 18). Josephus says that from the building of the 
temple, which took place in the twelfth year of Hiram king of Tyre, 
down to the founding of Carthage, which took place in the seventh 
year of Pygmalion king of Tyre, 143 years 8 months elapsed. From 
the date given by Justin (18, 7) for the founding of Carthage (72 
years before the founding of Eome; 72 + 754), i. e. from 826 B.C., 
Movers reckons back 143 years, and so fixes the building of the 
temple at the year 969 B.C., on which reckoning Solomon's accession 
would fall in the year 972 B.C., David's in the year 1012 B.C., and 
Saul's election in 1034 B.C. But since the more trustworthy dates 
for the year of the founding of Carthage, 846, 826, and 816, have an 
equal claim to acceptance, we are equally justified in reckoning back 
from 846 and 816 to Saul's accession. 

According to the canon of the Assyrians, the epochs in which were 
fixed by the observation of the solar eclipse of July 15 in the year 
763 B.C., Samaria was taken in the year 722 B.C. If from this we 
reckon backwards 261 years for Judah, Solomon's death would fall in 
the year 983 B.C., his accession in 1023 B.C., David's accession in 1063 
B.C., Saul's election in 1085 B.C. If we keep to the amount given for 
Israel (241 years + 722), Solomon's death falls in 963, his accession in 
1003, the building of the temple in 1000 B.C., David's accession in 
1043 B.C., Saul's accession in 1065 B.C. But neither by retaining the 
whole sum of 430 years, according to which the building of the temple 
begins 1015 B.C. (430 -4- 586), and Solomon dies in 978 B.C., nor by 
putting the death of Solomon in the year 983 or 963 B.C., do we bring 
the Assyrian monuments into agreement with the chronological state- 
ments of the Hebrews. If we place the date of the division of the 
kingdom at the year 978 B.C., Ahab's reign, according to the numbers 
given by the Hebrews for the kingdom of Israel, extends from 916 to 
894 B.C. ; if we place the division at 963 B.C., it extends, according to the 
same calculation, from 901 to 879 B.C. On the other hand, the Assyrian 
monuments prove that Ahab fought at Karkar against Shalmanesar II. 
in the year 854 B.C. (below, chap. 10). Since Ahab after this carried on 
a war against Damascus, in which war he died, he must in any case 

114 ISRAEL. 

Ephraimite; lie dwelt at Ramah (Kamathaim, and 

have been alive in 853 B.C. Hence even the lower date taken for Ahab's 
reign from the Hebrew statements (901 879 B.C.) would have to be 
brought down 26 years, and as a necessary consequence the death 
of Solomon would fall, not in the year 963 B.C., but in the year 
937 B.C. 

If we could conclude from this statement in the Assyrian monuments 
that the reigns of the kings of Israel were extended by the Hebrews 
beyond the truth, it follows from another monument, the inscription 
of Mesha, that abbreviations also took place. According to the Second 
Book of Kings (iii. 5), Mesha of Moab revolted from Israel when Ahab 
died. The stone of Mesha says: " Omri took Medaba, and Israel 
dwelt therein in his and his son's days for 40 years ; in my days Camus 
restored it; " Noldeke, " Inschrift des Mesa." Hence Omri, the father 
of Ahab, took Medaba 40 years before the death of Ahab. Ahab, 
according to the Hebrews, reigned 22 years, Omri 12. According to the 
etone of Mesha the two reigns must have together amounted to more 
than 40 years. Since Omri obtained the throne by force, and had at 
first to carry on a long civil war, and establish himself on the throne 
(1 Kings xvi. 21, 22), he could not make war upon the Moabites at the 
very beginning of his reign. Here, therefore, there is an abbreviation 
of the reign of Omri and Ahab by at least 10 years. 

Hence the contradiction between the monuments of the Assyrians 
and the numbers of the Hebrews is not to be removed by merely 
bringing down the division of the kingdom to the year 937 B.C. In 
order to obtain a chronological arrangement at all, we are placed in 
the awkward necessity of making an attempt to bring the canon of 
the Assyrians into agreement with the statements of the Hebrews by 
assumptions more or less arbitrary. Jehu slew Joram king of Israel 
and Ahaziah of Judah at the same time. From this date upwards to 
the death of Solomon the Hebrew Scriptures reckon 98 years for 
Israel, and 95 for Judah. Jehu ascended the throne of Israel in the 
year 843 B.C. at the latest, since, according' to the Assyrian monuments, 
he paid tribute to Shalmanesar II. in the year 842 B.C. If we reckon 
the 98 years for Israel upwards from 843 B.C., we arrive at 941 B.C. for 
the division of the kingdom ; and if to this we add, as the time which 
has doubtlessly fallen out in the reigns of Omri and Ahab, 12 years, 
953 B.C. would be the year of the death of Solomon, the year in which 
the ten tribes separated from the house of David. If we keep the year 
953 for the division, the year 993 comes out for the accession of 
Solomon, the year 990 for the beginning of the building of the temple, 
the year 1033 for the accession of David at Hebron, and the year 
1055 for the election of Saul. Fifteen years may be taken for the 
continuance of the heavy oppression before Saul. For the changes 
which we must in consequence of this assumption establish in the 
data of the reigns from Jeroboam and Eehoboam down to Athaliah 
and Jehu, i. e. in the period from 953 B.C. to 843 B.C., see below. 


hence among the Greeks Arimathia 1 ). Samuel was 
born to him late in life, and, in gratitude that at last 
a son was given to her, his mother had dedicated him to 
Jehovah, and given him to Eli to serve in the sanctuary. 
Thus even as a boy Samuel waited at the sacrifices in 
a linen tunic, and performed the sacred rites. He 
grew up in the fear of Jehovah and became a seer, who 
saw what was hidden, a soothsayer, whom the people 
consulted in distress of any kind, and at the same time 
he announced the will of Jehovah, for Jehovah had 
called him, and permitted him to see visions, " so that 
he knew how to speak the word of God, which was 
rare in those days/' and " Jehovah was with him and 
let none of Samuel's words fall to the ground." ! After 
the crushing defeat at Aphek it devolved on Samuel to 
perform the duties of high priest. He summoned the 
people to Mizpeh in the tribe of Benjamin and prayed 
for Israel. Large libations of water were poured to 
Jehovah. When the Philistines advanced Samuel 

Omri's reign occupies the period from 899 875 B.C. (24 years instead 
of 12), t. e. a period which agrees with, the importance of this reign 
among the Moabites and the Assyrians; Ahab reigned from 875 853 
B.C. According to 1 Kings xvi. 31, Ahab took Jezebel the daughter 
of Ethbaal the king of the Sidonians to wife. If this Ethbaal of Sidon 
is identical with the Ithobal of Tyre in Josephus, the chronology 
deduced from our assumptions would not be impossible. Granted the 
assertion of Josephus that the twelfth year of Hiram king of Tyre is 
the fourth year of Solomon (990 B.C.), Hiram's accession would fall in 
the year 1001 B.C. ; according to Josephus, Ithobal ascended the throne 
of Tyre 85 years after Hiram's accession, when he had slain Pheles. 
He lived according to the same authority 68 years and reigned 32 
years, i. e. from 916 884 B.C. Ahab, either before or after the year 
of his accession (875), might very well have taken the daughter of this 
prince to wife. And if we assume that the statement of Appian, that 
Carthage was in existence 700 years before her destruction by the 
Eomans, i. e. was founded in the year 846 B.C., the 143f or 144 years 
of Josephus between the building of the temple and the foundation of 
Carthage, reckoned backwards from 846 B.C., lead us to the year 990 
B.C. for the building of the temple. 

1 Now Beit-Eima, north-east of the later Lydda. 

3 1 Sam. iii. 1, 19. 


116 ISRAEL. 

sacrificed a sucking lamb (no doubt as a sin-offering), 
and burned it. " Then on that day Jehovah thundered 
mightily out of heaven over the Philistines, and con- 
founded them so that they were defeated." 

This victory remained without lasting results. On 
the contrary, the slavery of the Israelites to the Philis- 
tines became more extensive and more severe. In 
order to bring the northern tribes into the same sub- 
jection as the tribes of Dan, Judah, and Simeon, the 
Philistines established fortified camps at Michmash and 
Geba (Gibeah) in the tribe of Benjamin, as a centre 
from which to hold this and the northern tribes in check. 
The men of the tribes of Judah and Simeon had to take 
the field against their own countrymen. These arrange- 
ments soon obtained their object. All Israel on this 
side of the Jordan was reduced to subjection. In 
order to make a rebellion impossible, the Israelites 
were deprived of their arms ; indeed, the Philistines 
were not content that they should give up the arms in 
their possession, they even removed the smiths from 
the land, that no one might provide a sword or javelin 
for the Hebrews. The oppression of this dominion 
pressed so heavily and with such shame on the Israelites 
. that the books of Samuel themselves tell us, if the 
plough-shares, bills, and mattocks became dull, or the 
forks were bent, the children of Israel had to go down 
into the cities of the Philistines in order to have their 
implements mended and sharpened. 1 

At this period Samuel's activity must have been 
limited to leading back the hearts of the Israelites to 
the God who brought them out of Egypt ; he must 
have striven to fill them with the faith with which he 
was himself penetrated, and the distress of the time 
would contribute to gain acceptance for his teaching 

1 1 Sam. xiii. 1923, from the older account. 


and his prescripts. The people sought his word and 
decision ; he is said to have given judgment at Bethel, 
Gilgal, and Mizpeh. He gathered scholars and disciples 
round him, who praised Jehovah to the sound of harp 
and lute, flute and drum, who in violent agitation 
and divine excitement awaited his visions, and " were 
changed into other men." l From the position which 
tradition allots to Samuel, there can be no doubt that 
he brought the belief in and worship of the old god 
into renewed life, and caused them to sink deeper 
into the hearts of the Israelites. The oppression of 
his people by the Philistines he could not turn away, 
though he cherished a lively hope in the help of 

The tribes on the east of the Jordan remained free 
from the dominion of the Philistines ; yet for them 
also servitude and destruction was near at hand. The 
Ammonites were not inclined to let slip so favourable 
an opportunity, As the land on the west of the 
Jordan was subject to the Philistines, the tribes on 
the east would prove an easy prey. The Ammonites 
encamped before Jabesh in Gilead, and the inhabitants 
were ready to submit. But Nahash, the king of the 
Ammonites, as we are told, would only accept their 
submission on condition that every man in Jabesh put 
out his right eye. Then the elders of Jabesh sent 
messengers across the Jordan and earnestly besought 
their countrymen for help. 

The tribe of Benjamin had to feel most heavily, no 
doubt, the oppression of the Philistines. In their 
territory lay the fortified camps of the enemy. Here, 
at Gibeah, dwelt a man of the race of Matri, Saul the 
son of Kish, the grandson of Abiel. Kish was a man of 
substance and influence; his son Saul was a courageous 

1 1 Sam. x. 5, 6 ; xix. 2024. 

118 ISRAEL. 

man, of remarkable stature, " higher by a head than 
the rest of the nation." He was in the full strength of 
his years, and surrounded by valiant sons : Jonathan, 
Melchishua, Abinadab, and Ishbosheth. One day, 
"just as he was returning home from the field behind 
his oxen," he heard the announcement which the 
messengers of Jabesh brought. Himself under the 
enemy's yoke, he felt the more deeply what threatened 
them. His heart was fired at the shame and ruin of 
his people. Regardless of the Philistines, he formed a 
bold resolution ; assistance must be given to those most 
in need. He cut two oxen in pieces, sent the pieces 
round the tribes, 1 and raised the cry, " Whoso comes 
not after Saul, so shall it be done to his oxen." The 
troop which gathered round him out of compassion 
for the besieged in Jabesh, and in obedience to his 
summons, Saul divided into three companies. With 
these he succeeded in surprising the camp of the 
Ammonites about the morning watch ; he dispersed 
the hostile army and set Jabesh free. 

Whatever violence and cruelty had been exercised 
since the settlement of the Israelites in Canaan, 
however many the feuds and severe the vengeance 
taken, however great the distress and the oppression, 
the nation, amid all the anarchy and freedom so 
helpless against an enemy, still preserved a healthy 
and simple feeling and vigorous power. And at this 
crisis the Israelites .were not found wanting; Saul's 
bold resolution, the success in setting free the city in 
her sore distress, the victory thus won, the first joy and 
hope after so long a period of shame, gave the people 
the expectation of having found in him the man who 
was able to set them free from the dominion of the 
Philistines also, and restore independence, and law, 

1 Compare the division of the corpse by the Levite, above, p. 96. 


and peace. When the thank-offering for the unex- 
pected victory, for the liberation of the land of Gilgal, 
was offered at Gilgal on the Jordan, as far as possible 
from the camp of the Philistines, " all the people went 
to Gilgal, and there made Saul king before Jehovah, 
and Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly" 
(1055 B.C.). 

The heavy misfortunes which the land had experi- 
enced for a long time, the severe oppression of the 
dominion of the Philistines, had at length taught the 
majority that rescue could only come by a close con- 
nection and union of the powers of the tribes, and 
an established authority supreme over all. To check 
anarchy from within and oppression from without re- 
quired a vigorous hand, a ruling will, and a recognised 
power. What the people could do to put an end to the 
disorganisation was now done, they had placed a man 
at the head whom they might expect to be a brave 
leader and resolute guide. The Israelites had used 
their sovereignty to give themselves a master, and 
might hope with confidence that by this step they had 
laid the foundations of a happier future which they 
might certainly greet with joy. 1 

1 Owing to the later conceptions that the king needed to be consecrated 
by the prophets, that Jehovah is himself the King of Israel, an 
almost inexplicable confusion has come into the narrative of Saul's 
elevation. Not only have we an older and later account existing side 
by side in the books of Samuel, not only has there been even a third 
hand at work, but the attempts to bring the contradictory accounts 
into harmony have increased the evil. In 1 Sam. viii. we are told : 
The elders of Israel and the people required from Samuel a king at 
Eamah, because he was old and his sons walked not in his ways. Jehovah 
says to Samuel : They have not rejected thee, but me ; yet Samuel 
accedes to the request of the Israelites. Samuel gives the elders a 
terrifying description of the oppression which the monarchy would 
exercise upon them, a description which evidently predates the experi- 
ences made under David, Solomon, and later kings, whereas at the 
time spoken of the nation had suffered only too long from wild anarchy. 
The reasons, moreover, given by the elders, why they desired a king, 

120 ISRAEL. 

Immediately after his election on the Jordan, Saul 
was firmly resolved to take up arms against the 

do not agree with the situation, but rather with the time of Eli, who 
also had foolish sons. In spite of Samuel's warning the people persist 
in their wish to have a king< Further we are told in chap. ix. 1 x. 
16, how Saul at his father's bidding sets out in quest of lost she-asses, 
and goes to inquire of Samuel, for the fourth part of a silver shekel, 
whither they had strayed. At Jehovah's command Samuel anoints 
the son of Kish to be king, when he comes to him ; he tells him 
where he will find his asses, and imparts to him two other prophecies 
on the way. Then we are told in chap. x. 17 27 that Samuel 
summons an assembly of the people to Mizpeh, repeats his warning 
against the monarchy, but then causes lots to be cast who shall be 
king over the tribes, and families, and individuals. The lot falls upon 
Saul, who makes no mention to any one of the anointing, but has 
hidden himself among the stuff. Finally, in chap. xi. we find the 
account given in the text, to which, in order to bring it into harmony 
with what has been already related, these words are prefixed in ver. 14 : 
" And Samuel said to the people, Come, let us go to Gilgal to renew 
the kingdom ; " but in xi. 15 we find : " Then went all the people to 
Gilgal, and made Saul king before Jehovah in Gilgal." The contra- 
dictions are striking. The elders require a king from Samuel, whom 
they could choose themselves (2 Sam. ii. 4 ; v. 3 ; 1 Kings xii. 1, 20 ; 
2 Kings xiv. 21), and whom, according to 1 Sam. xi. 15, the people 
actually choose. Jehovah will not have a king, but then permits it. 
Nor is this permission all ; he himself points out to Samuel the man 
whom he is to anoint. Anointed to be king, Saul goes, as if nothing 
had taken place, to his home. He comes to the assembly at Mizpeh, 
and again says nothing to any one of his new dignity. Already king 
by anointment, he is now again made king by the casting of lots. He 
returns home to till his field, when the messengers from Jabesh were 
sent not to the king of Israel, but to the people of Israel, to ask for 
help. In Gibeah also they do not apply to the king ; not till he sees 
the people weeping in Gibeah, does Saul learn the message. Yet he 
does not summon the people to follow him as king ; he requests the 
following just as in earlier times individuals in extraordinary cases 
sought to rouse the people to take up arms. It is impossible that a 
king should be chosen by lot at a time when the bravest warrior was 
needed at the head, and simple boys, who hid themselves among the 
stuff, were not suited to lead the army at such a dangerous time. At 
the time of Saul's very first achievements his son Jonathan stands at 
his side as a warrior ; at his death his youngest son Ishbosheth was 
40 years of age (2 Sam. ii. 10). Saul must therefore have been between 
40 and 50 years old when he became king. The request of the elders 
for a king, and Samuel's resistance, belong on the other hand to the 
prophetic narrator of the books of Samuel, in whose account it was 
followed by the assembly at Mizpeh and the casting of lots. The same 


Philistines for the liberation of the land. He turned 
upon their camp in the district of his own tribe. 
While he lay opposite the fortifications at Michmash, 
and thus held the garrison fast, his son Jonathan suc- 
ceeded in conquering the detachment of the Philistines 
stationed at Geba. But the princes of the Philistines 
had no mind to look on at the union of Israel. They 
assembled, as we are told, an army of 3000 chariots, 
6000 cavalry, and foot soldiers beyond number ; with 
these the tribes of Judah and Simeon were compelled 
to take the field against their brethren. 1 Whether the 
numbers are correct or incorrect, the armament of the 
Philistines was sufficient to cause the courage of the 
Israelites to sink. Saul summoned the Israelites to 
the Jordan, to Grilgal, where he had been raised to be 
their chief. But in vain he caused the trumpets to be 
blown and the people to be summoned. The Israelites 
crept into the caves and clefts of the rock, and thorn- 
narrator attempts to bring the achievement at Jabesh, and the recogni- 
tion of Saul as ruler and king which followed it, into harmony with his 
narrative by the addition of the restoration of the kingdom and some 
other interpolations. The Philistines would hardly have permitted 
minute preparations and prescribed assemblies for the election of king. 
The simple elevation and recognition of Saul as king after his first suc- 
cessful exploit in war corresponds to the situation of affairs (cf. 1 xii. 
12). And I am the more decided in holding this account to be historically 
correct, because it does not presuppose the other accounts, and because 
the men of Jabesh, according to the older account, fetched the bodies of 
Saul and his sons to Jabesh from Beth-shan and burned them there, 
1 Sam. xxxi. 12, 13. The older account in the books of Samuel knows 
nothing of the request of the elders for a king. After the defeat which 
caused Eli's death, it narrates the carrying back of the ark by the 
Philistines, and the setting up of it at Beth-shemesh and Kirjath- 
jearim. Then follows Saul's anointing by Samuel (ix. 1 10, 16) ; then 
the lost statement about the age of Saul when he became king, and 
the length of the reign ; then the great exploits of Saul against the 
Philistines (xiii. 1 14, 46) ; xiii. 8 13 stands in precise relation 
to x. 8. That the achievement of Jabesh cannot have been wanting 
in the older account follows from the express reference to it at the 
death of Saul. 

1 1 Sam. xiii. 37 ; xiv. 22. 

122 ISRAEL. 

hushes, into the towers and the cisterns, and fled 
beyond Jordan to find refuge in the land of Gilead. 
Only the king and his brave son Jonathan did not 
quail before the numbers or gallantry of the enemies, 
though only a small troop it is said about 600 men 
gathered round Saul. The great army of the Philistines 
had first marched to the fortified camp at Michmasb, 
and from this point, after leaving a garrison behind, in 
which were the Israelites of Judah and Simeon, it 
separated into three divisions, in order to march, 
through Israel in all directions and hold the country 
in subjection. One column marched to the west in 
the direction of Beth-horon, the second to the north 
towards Ophra, the third to the east towards the 
valley of Zeboim. 1 This division made it possible for 
Saul to attack. He turned upon that part of the army 
which was weakest and most insecure, the garrison at 
Michmash, and made an unexpected attack on the 
fortification. Jonathan ascended an eminence in the 
rear, while Saul attacked in the van. In the tumult 
of the attack the Hebrews in the camp of the Philis- 
tines joined the side of their countrymen, and Saul 
gained the fortification. The Philistines fled. The 
king knew what was at stake and strove to push the 
victory thus gained to the utmost. 2 Without resting, 
he urged his men to the pursuit of the fugitives. 
That none of his troop might halt or stray in order to 
take food, he said, " Cursed is the man who eats bread 
till the evening, till I have taken vengeance on mine 
enemies." Jonathan had not heard the command of 
his father, and as the pursuers passed through a wood 
in which wild honey lay scattered he ate a little of 
the honeycomb. For this he should have been put to 
death, because he was dedicated to Jehovah (I. 499). 

1 1 Sam. xiii. 1618. 2 1 Sam. xiv. 123. 


But the warriors were milder than their customs. 
" Shall Jonathan, die," cried the soldiers, " who has 
won this great victory in Israel ? that be far from us : 
as Jehovah liveth, not a hair of his head shall fall to 
the ground, for he has wrought vfiih God this day ; " 
"and the people rescued Jonathan that he died not." 1 

This success encouraged the Israelites to come forth 
from, their hiding-places and gather round their king. 
But only a part of the hostile army was defeated, and 
the Philistines were not so easily to be deprived of 
the sovereignty over Israel. "And the strife was hot 
against the Philistines so long as Saul lived," and 
" king Saul was brave and delivered Israel from the 
hand of the robbers," is the older of the two statements 
preserved in the Books of Samuel. 

Saul had rendered the service which was expected 
by the Israelites when they elevated him : he had 
saved his nation from the deepest distress, from the 
brink of the most certain destruction. Without him 
the tribes beyond the Jordan would have succumbed to 
the Ammonites and Moabites, and those on this side of 
the river would at length have become obedient sub- 
jects of the Philistines. He found on his accession a 
disarmed, discouraged nation. By his own example 
he knew how to restore to them courage and self-con- 
fidence, and educate them into a nation familiar with 
war and skilled in it. The old military virtues of 
the tribe of Benjamin (p. 96) found in Saul their full 
expression and had a most beneficial result for Israel. 
The close community in which from old time the small 
tribe of Benjamin had been with the large tribe of 
Ephraim, by the side of which it had settled, was an 
advantage to Saul. 2 The strong position which he gained 

1 So the older account, 1 Sam. xiv. 24 45. 

2 Numbers ii. 1824 ; Joshua xviii. 1220 ; Judges v. 14. That 

124 ISRAEL. 

by the recognition of these two tribes could not but 
have an effect on the others, and contribute with the 
importance of his achievements and the splendour of 
their results to gain firmness and respect for the young 
monarchy, and win obedience for his commands. In 
the ceaseless battles which he had to carry on he was 
mainly supported by his eldest son Jonathan, who 
stood beside him as a faithful brother in arms, and his 
cousin Abner, the son of Ner his father's brother, whom 
he made his chief captain. "And wherever Saul saw a 
mighty man and a brave he took him to himself." 
Thus he formed around him a school of brave warriors. 
He appears to have kept 3000 warriors under arms in 
the district of Benjamin, and this formed the centre 
for the levy of the people. 2 

But the Israelites had not merely to thank the king 
they had set up for the recovery and vigorous defence 
of their independence and their territory ; he was also 
a zealous servant of Jehovah. He offered sacrifice to 
Him, built altars, and inquired of Him by His priests, 
who accompanied him even on his campaigns. 3 He 
observed strictly the sacred customs ; even after the 
battle the exhausted soldiers were not allowed to eat 
meat with blood in it. He was prepared to allow 
even his dearest son, whose life he had unconsciously 
devoted, to be put to death. He removed all magi- 
cians and wizards out of the land with great severity. 4 
How earnestly he took up the national and religious 
opposition to the Canaanites is clear from his conduct 
to the Hivites of Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and 

Ephraim remained true to Saul follows from the recognition of 
Ishbosheth after Saul's death, 2 Sam. ii. 9, 10. 

1 1 Sam. xiv. 52. 2 1 Sam. xiii. 2. 

3 1 Sam. xiv. 3, 18, 37 ; xxviii. 6. 

4 1 Sam. xxviii. 3, 9. 


Kirjath-jearim, who had once made a league with 
Joshua, and in consequence had been allowed to 
remain among the Israelites (I. 494). " Saul sought 
to slay them in his zeal for Israel," and the Gibeonites 
afterwards maintained that Saul had sought to anni- 
hilate them, and his purpose was that they should be 
destroyed and exist no more in all the land of Israel. 1 
The ark of the covenant, which had fallen into the 
hands of the Philistines at the battle of Aphek, was 
brought back to Israel in his reign. The possession of 
it, so the Hebrews said, had brought no good to the 
Philistines. They had set it up as a trophy of victory 
in the temple of Dagon at Ashdod. But the image of 
the god had fallen to pieces, and only the fish-tail was 
left standing (I. 272) ; the people of Ashdod had been 
attacked with boils, and their crops destroyed by mice. 
The same occurred at Gath, when the ark was brought 
there, and, in consequence, the city of Ekron had 
refused to accept it. Then the Philistines had placed 
the ark upon a wagon, and allowed the cows before it 
to draw it whither they would. They drew it to 
Beth-shemesh in the tribe of Judah. But when the 
people of Beth-shemesh looked on the ark a grievous 
mortality began among them, till the men of Kirjath- 
jearim (riot far from Beth-shemesh) took away the ark, 
and Abinadab set it up in a house on a hill in his field, 
and established his own son Eleazar as guardian and 
priest (about 1045 B.C. 2 ). The Books of the Chronicles 

1 2 Sam. xxi. 2, 5. 

2 The ark was brought by David from. Kirjath-jearim to Zion. That 
could not take place before the year 1025 B.C. Saul's death falls, as 
was assumed above, in the year 1033 B.C. But the ark is said to have 
been at Kirjath-jearim 20 years (1 Sam. vii. 2 ; vi. 21), it must there- 
fore have been carried thither 1045 B.C., or a few years later. The 
stay among the Philistines must have been more than seven months, 
as stated in 1 Sam. vi. 61 ; the stay at Beth-shemesh was apparently 
only a short one. The battle at Tabor and Eli's death cannot, as shown 

126 ISRAEL. 

mention the gifts which Saul dedicated to the national 
sanctuary. 1 

As king of Israel, Saul remained true to the simplicity 
of his earlier life. Of splendour, courts, ceremonial, 
dignitaries, and harem we hear nothing. If not in the 
field he remained on his farm at Gibeah, with his wife 
Ahinoam, 2 his four sons, and his two daughters. Abner 
and other approved comrades in arms ate at his table. 
His elder daughter Merab he married to Adriel the son 
of Barzillai. Michal, the younger, he gave to a youthful 
warrior, David the son of Jesse, who had distinguished 
himself in the war against the Philistines, whom he had 
made his armour-bearer and companion of his table, 
entrusting him at the same time with the command 
of 1000 men of the standing army. 3 "What am I, 
what is the life and the house of my father in Israel, 
that I should become the son-in-law of the king ? I am 
but a poor and lowly man." So David said, but Saul 
remained firm in his purpose. 

Of Saul's later battles against the Philistines tradi- 
tion has preserved only a few fragments, from which it 
is clear that the war was carried on upon the borders 
by plundering incursions, which were interrupted from 
time to time by greater campaigns. 4 But the prepon- 
derance of the Philistine power was broken. And Saul 
had not only to fight against these. " He fought on 
all sides," we are told, "against all the enemies of 
Israel, against Moab, and against the sons of Ammon, 
and against Edom, and against the kings of Zobah, 

above, be placed much later than 1070 B.C. According to 1 Sam. xiv. 
3 ; xviii. 19, the ark was in Saul's army at the battle of Michmash, 
and Ahijah (Ahimelech), the great-grandson of Eli, was its keeper. 

1 1 Chron. xxvi. 28. 

2 Only one concubine is mentioned, by whom Saul had two sons. 

3 1 Sam. xviii. 3, 1720, 28; xxii. 4. 

4 1 Sam. xvii., xviii., xxiii. 28. 


and whithersoever he turned he was victorious." l 
When the Amalekites from their deserts on the penin- 
sula of Sinai invaded the south of Israel, and forced 
their way as far as Hebron, he defeated them there at 
Maon-Carmel, 2 and pursued them over the borders of 
Israel into their own land as far as the desert of Sur, 
" which lies before Egypt/' and took Agag their king 
prisoner. It was a severe defeat which he inflicted on 
them. 3 " Saul's sword came not back empty," and 
" the daughters of Israel clothed themselves in purple," 
and "adorned their garments with gold" from the 
spoil of his victories. 4 The Israelites felt what they 
owed to the monarchy and to Saul. 5 

1 1 Sam. xiv. 47, 48. 

2 1 Sam. xv. 12. The place near Hebron still bears the name 

3 Noldeke, " Die Amalekiter," s. 14, 15. * 2 Sam. i. 2124. 

6 This follows from the fact that the monarchy remains even after 
Saul's death, from the lamentation of the Israelites for Saul, and their 
allegiance to his son Ishbosheth. 



THE position which Samuel gained as a priest, seer, 
and judge after the death of Eli and his sons, and 
continued to hold under the sway of the Philistines 
must have undergone a marked change, owing to the 
establishment of the monarchy in Israel, though in the 
later text of the Books of Samuel it is maintained that 
" Samuel judged Israel till his death." l We know that 
Samuel had set up an altar to Jehovah at Ramathaim, 
his home and dwelling-place (p. 115), but it is not 
handed down that he had again set up there the sacred 
tabernacle and the worship at the sacred ark, though 
this may very well have been the case after the Philis- 
tines sent back the ark. Both the older and the later text 
of the two Books of Samuel represent him as in opposi- 
tion to the monarchy. According to the later text, 
written from a prophetic point of view, Samuel had from 
the first opposed the establishment of the monarchy ; 
and both the older and the more recent account know of 
a contention between Saul and Samuel. The former 
tells us: When Saul immediately after his election took 
up arms against the Philistines, and these marched out 
with their whole fighting power, and Saul gathered the 
Israelites at Gilgal, Samuel bade the king wait seven 
days till he came down to offer burnt-offering and 

1 1 Sam. vii. lo. 


thank-offering. " And Saul waited seven days, but 
Samuel came not ; the people were scattered. Then 
Saul said : Bring me the burnt-offering and the thank- 
offering. He offered the burnt-sacrifice, and when he 
had made an end Samuel came, and Saul went to greet 
him. And Samuel said, What hast thou done? Saul 
answered, When I saw that the people were scattered 
from me, and thou didst not come at the time ap- 
pointed, and the Philistines were encamped at Mich- 
mash, I said, The Philistines will come down upon me 
to G-ilgal, and I have not made supplication to Jehovah, 
so I forced myself and offered the burnt-sacrifice. Then 
Samuel said, Thou hast done foolishly; thou hast not 
observed the command of thy God which he com- 
manded thee. Jehovah would have established thy 
kingdom over Israel for ever, but now thy kingdom 
shall not endure." l The more recent account puts the 
contention at a far later date. When Saul marched 
against the Amalekites Samuel bade him "curse" 
everything that belonged to Amalek, man and woman, 
child and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. 
After the return of the victorious army Samuel came 
to Gilgal, and said, What meaneth this bleating of 
sheep and lowing of oxen in my ears ? Saul answered, 
I have obeyed the voice of Jehovah and have gone the 
way which Jehovah sent me, and I have brought with me 
Agag the king of Amalek, and have " cursed " Amalek. 
But from the spoil the people have taken the best of 
what was " cursed," in order to sacrifice to Jehovah, 
thy God, at Gilgal. Samuel answered in the tone of 
Isaiah, Hath Jehovah delight in burnt-offerings and 
sacrifice ? To obey is better than sacrifice. Saul con- 
fesses that he has sinned and transgressed the com- 
mand of Jehovah and the word of Samuel, "for I 

1 1 Sam. x. 8 ; xiii. 815. 

130 ISRAEL. 

feared the people, and obeyed their voice. And now 
forgive me my dn, and turn with me, that I may 
entreat Jehovah. But Samuel said, I will not turn 
back with thee ; because thou hast rejected the word 
of Jehovah he will reject thee from being king over 
Israel. Samuel turned to go, but Saul caught the hem 
of his garment and said, I have sinned, yet honour me 
before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and 
return with me, that I may offer prayer before Jehovah. 
Then Samuel turned behind Saul, and Saul offered 
prayer before Jehovah. And Samuel bade them bring 
Agag the king of Amalek before him, and said, As thy 
sword has made women childless, so shall thy mother 
be childless among women ; and he hewed Agag in 
pieces before Jehovah at Gilgal. And Samuel went 
up to Ramathaim and saw Saul no more." l In the 
narrative of the first text Saul appears to be thoroughly 
justified by the most urgent necessity; in the narrative 
of the second text he acknowledges openly and com- 
pletely that he has sinned. It may have been the 
case that Saul did not appear to Samuel sufficiently 
submissive to his utterances, which for him were the 
utterances of God ; that he wished to see the rights and 
power of a king exercised in a different manner and in 
a different feeling from that in which Saul discharged 
his office. 

More dangerous for Saul than any reproach or cold- 
ness on the part of Samuel was the contention which 
he had in the latter years of his reign with another man, 
whom he had himself raised to eminence a strife 
which cost Saul the reward of his laborious and brave 
reign, and his house the throne ; while Israel lost the 
fruits of great efforts, and the fortunes of the people 
were again put to the hazard. 

1 1 Sam. xv. 


Of the family of Perez l of the tribe of Judah, David 
was the youngest (eighth) son of a man of some posses- 
sions, Jesse of Bethlehem. He was entrusted with the 
care and keeping of the sheep and goats of his father 
in the desert pastures on the Dead Sea, and his shep- 
herd life had caused him to grow up in a rough school. 
It had made him hardy, it had given strength and 
suppleness to his body ; he had gained a delight in 
adventure and unshaken courage in danger. In defence 
of the flocks he had withstood bears and ventured into 
conflict even with a lion. In the loneliness and silence 
which surrounded him he practised singing and play- 
ing ; the severe and solemn nature of that region was 
adapted to impress great thoughts on his mind, to give 
force and elevation to his spirit. From such a school 
he came into the ranks of the warriors of Saul ; the 
bold deeds which even in his youth he had performed 
against the Philistines induced Saul to make David 
one of "the brave," whom he took into his house (about 
1040 B.C.). 2 He also made him one of his captains, 3 
and frequently sent him out against the Philistines ; in 
these inroads he fought with more success than other 


chieftains. 4 Thus David was a favourite in the eyes 

1 Ruth iv. 1822. 

2 In 2 Sam. v. 4, 5 it is stated that David when, he was raised at 
Hebron to be king of Judah was 30 years old. This took place 1033 
B.C. (p. 113, note) ; David must therefore have been born 1063 B.C., and 
could not have marched out to battle before 1043 B.C. 

3 1 Sam. xviii. 5. 

4 The tale of the battle of David with the giant Goliath appears to 
have arisen out of a later conflict of David when king with a mighty 
Philistine. In 2 Sam. xxi. 18 22 we are told, " And there was again a 
battle of Philistines at Gob. Then Elhanan, the son of Jair Orgim, a 
Bethlehemite, slew Goliath of Gath ; the shaft of whose spear was as a 
weaver's beam." Shortly before it is stated : " David and his servants 
strove with the Philistines, and David was weary, and Ishbi thought 
to slay David the weight of his spear was 300 shekels ; then Abishai 
(the brother of Joab) aided the king, and slew the Philistine," 2 Sam. 
xxi. 15 17. From the conflict with a giant which David had to 

K 2 

132 ISRAEL. 

of the people and the servants of the king, and Jona- 
than, Saul's eldest son, made a covenant with David, 
because " he loved him as his own soul." 3 In the 
house of Saul David was trusted and honoured before 
the other warriors ; he was his armour-bearer and the 
chief of a troop of 1000 men. After Jonathan and 
Abner, David was nearest the king ; he had the com- 
plete confidence of Saul, and at length became his 
son-in-law. 2 

Some years afterwards (about 1036 B c. 3 ), Saul con- 
ceived a suspicion of the man whom he had elevated 
to such a height. He imagined that his son-in-law 
intended to seize the throne from himself, or contest 
the succession with his son Jonathan. According to 
the older account it was jealousy of the military 
renown of David, which threatened to obscure his 

undergo when king, and the slaughter of Goliath of Gath by Elhanan, a 
fellow-townsman of David's from Bethlehem, the legend may have arisen 
that David himself slew a great giant. This legend was then transferred 
by the theocratic narrative into David's boyhood ; in this way he was 
marked from the beginning as the chosen instrument of Jehovah. The 
statement in 1 Chron. xxi. 5 cannot be made to tell against this view, 
which in order to explain the contradiction between the First and 
Second Books of Samuel explains the giant whom Elhanan slew, the 
shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam, to be a brother of 
Goliath ; the less so inasmuch as the passage from the Book of Samuel 
is repeated word for word with this addition, while the battle of David 
with Ishbi is omitted. If David really slew a distinguished warrior 
of Gath in Saul's. time, it is the more difficult to explain how he 
could afterwards fly to the prince of Gath of all others, and enter 
into such close relations with him. The often-mentioned national 
song, " Saul has slain his thousands and David his tens of thousands," 
is scarcely applicable to the slaying of a giant, however great he might 
be, and probably comes from the time of David's reign when he had 
really gained more brilliant victories than Saul. 

1 1 Sam. xviii. 3. 

2 1 Sam. xvi. 22 ; xviii. 5 ; xxii. 14. 

3 This date may be assumed, if we put the death of Saul in the year 
1033 B.C. (p. 113), since David's rebellion in Judah lasted a considerable 
time, and he afterwards remained at Ziklag at least 16 months, 1 
Sam. xxvii. 7 ; xxix. 3. 


own, that roused Saul against David ; l according to 
the later, Saul feared the partiality which the people 
displayed towards David. He says to Jonathan, " So 
long as the son of Jesse lives, thou and thy kingdom 
will not continue. " ! According to the same account 
an evil spirit came over Saul, he was beside himself in 
the house and threw a spear at David, who played the 
harp. 3 David avoided the cast : he fled to Samuel at 
Eamathaim into the dwellings of the seers, 4 and from 
thence escaped to Achish, the prince of the Philistines 
of Gath. 5 [n the older account also it is an evil spirit 
of Jehovah which comes over Saul, and causes him to 
thrust with his spear at David while he is playing the 
harp. David escapes into his house. At Saul's com- 
mand the house is surrounded ; and David is to be 
slain the next morning. But Michal, the daughter of 
Saul, David's wife, let him down from a window, and 
in his place she put the teraphim, i. e. the image of 
the deity, into the bed, covered it with a coverlet, laid 
the net of goat's hair on the face, and gave out that 
David was sick. David meanwhile flies to Nob (in the 
land of Benjamin), where was set up a gilded image of 
Jehovah, before which a company of priests served, and 
at their head Ahimelech, a great-grandson of Eli, 6 
who had previously inquired of Jehovah for David. 7 
Ahimelech gave David the sacred loaves, and a sword 
which was consecrated there, and from hence, accord- 
ing to this account, David escaped to Achish. Saul 
reproached his daughter for aiding David, and said, 

1 1 Sam. xviii. 9. 2 1 Sam. xviii. 16 ; xx. 31. 

3 1 Sam. xviii. 11. 

4 As Najoth, or rather Newajoth, means dwellings, the habitations of 
the prophet's disciples must be meant. 

5 1 Sam. xix. 1824; xxi. 1115. 

6 1 Sam. xxii. 9. r 1 Sam. xiv. 3. 

134 ISRAEL. 

" Why hast thou allowed my enemy to escape ? " 
Then he gave her to wife to Phalti of Gallim. 

We are not in a position to decide whether David 
really pursued ambitious designs; whether, as a matter 
of fact, he conspired with the priests against Saul and 
his house, as Saul assumed ; whether Saul saw through 
his designs and plots, or suspected him without reason. 1 

1 The older text, 1, xxvi. 19, represents David as saying to Saul: 
" If Jehovah hath stirred thee against me, let him accept an offering, 
but if men, cursed be they before Jehovah." In the Books of Samuel 
the relations of Saul and David are strangely confused, for reasons 
which are not far to seek. The older account of the priests and the 
later one of the prophets, which are mixed together in these books, 
had equally reason to place in as favourable a light as possible the 
founder of the power of Israel, of the united worship, the minstrel of 
the psalms, the progenitor of the kings of Judah, and to put him in 
the right as against Saul and the house of Saul. To the older narrative 
belongs the description of David's shepherd life, his battle with the giant, 
his rise as a warrior, the intention is to show that Jehovah is strong 
in the weak. The shepherd-boy conies into the camp in order to bring 
bread to his brethren and cheese to the captain. His brethren are angry 
that he has left the sheep, and wish to send him back, but he will fight 
with the giant who has defied the army of the living God. Saul 
dissuades him from the contest, but David persists, refuses armour, and 
goes forth in-trust on Jehovah, who gives not the victory by spear and 
shield. By this victory ho is marked as the chosen instrument of 
Jehovah. In both accounts Saul loses the favour of Jehovah by 
disobedience to Samuel. According to the later text, Samuel, when he 
had broken with Saul owing to the incomplete " cursing" of Amalek, 
took the horn of oil and anointed the youngest son of Jesse, who was 
fetched from the sheep, king over Israel amid his brethren. "When 
this had been done Saul's servants bring David as a brave hero and 
warrior, "prudent in speech, a comely person, cunning in playing," 
1 Sam. xvi. Yet Samuel had no right to place kings over the Israelites, 
and if he went so far in his opposition to Saul, he made himself responsi- 
ble for the rebellion ; if he really intended this, he would have set up 
some other than a shepherd-boy against Saul. If, on the other hand, 
David was really anointed, Saul was quite justified in pursuing him. 
Yet it was with this anointment, as with that of Saul ; no one knew 
anything of it, and David himself makes no use of this divine election, 
not even when he organises the rebellion in Judah, nor after Saul's 
death at Hebron, nor in the struggle against Ishbosheth, who was not 
in any case anointed, nor even after the death of Ishbosheth : he is 
after this chosen by the people in Hebron and anointed king over 


David was not content with escaping the anger and 
pursuit of Saul, with placing himself and his family in 
security. He repaired to the enemies of his land, 

Israel. It is only the Philistines in Gath who know anything of 
David's royal dignity, when he comes to them for the first time, 1 Sam. 
xxi. 11. "We see plainly that this anointment is a careless interpolation 
of the prophetic revision, to which the verses 11 15 of the chapter 
quoted undoubtedly belong, just as chap. xvi. is intended to legitimise 
David. The same account represents Saul as thrusting twice with his 
javelin at David, xviii. 10, 11, on the very day after he has slain the 
giant. As though nothing had happened, David continues in the house 
of Saul, and Saul confers on him still greater honours and dignities. 
In the older as well as in the later account this is turned round so as 
to seem that Saul gave these to David as a " snare," that David might 
fall by the hands of the Philistines, xviii. 17, 25; and with this view 
Saul requires 100 foreskins of the Philistines as the price of Michal. 
It is obvious that Saul had other means, more certain to accomplish 
his object, at his command to destroy David, if he really intended it ; 
according to the older account Saul requests Jonathan and his men, 
though in vain, to slay David, xix. 1. When the attempt at assassina- 
tion and the open breach has taken place in both narratives, Saul, 
according to the prophetic account, marvels nevertheless that David 
does not come to table, xx. 26, 27. To this text also belongs the further 
statement that when Jonathan excused David, Saul thrust at him also 
with his spear, xx. 33. In the older account Ahimelech, who had aided 
David in his flight, makes the excuse that he knew not that David fled 
before the king. " David was the most honoured among the friends 
of Saul : " no one therefore knew anything of these plots and attempts 
of Saul upon David. Every one sees that this is impossible. Jonathan 
knows David better than Saul, and always defends him against his 
father ; then David himself calls on Jonathan to kill him if there is any 
wickedness in him, 1, xx. 8. The story of the arrows is very poetical, 
but the sign is quite unnecessary, since they afterwards converse with 
each other, 1, xx. 18 43. In the older account also of the occurrence 
in the desert by the Dead Sea, the prophetic account has inserted a 
visit of Jonathan to David. Jonathan strengthens David's courage 
although he is in rebellion against his father. " Fear not," Jonathan 
says to him, " the hand of niy father will not reach thce, thou shalt 
be king over Israel," xxiii. 15 18. Saul was something different 
from the madman who betwixt sane intervals and reconciliations is 
constantly making fresh attacks on David's life, whether innocent or 
guilty. Even the most complete recognition of all that David estab- 
lished at a later time for Israel, and with an influence extending far 
beyond Israel, does not make it a duty to overlook the way in which 
he rose to his eminence. 

136 ISRAEL. 

the Philistines, who would riot have accepted at ODCC 
an opponent who had done them grievous injury, if 
he had not openly broken with Saul and given them 
to suppose that henceforth he would support their 
struggle against Saul and Israel. Yet David did not 
bring his father and mother, on whom Saul could have 
taken vengeance, out of the land to Gath, where they 
might have been a pledge of his fidelity to the Philis- 
tines ; he put them in the hands of the king of Moab, 
and also entered into relations with the king of the 
Ammonites. 1 It was probably with the consent of the 
Philistines that David returned from Gath into the land 
of Judah, and there threw himself into the wild regions 
by the Dead Sea, where he had previously pastured his 
father's sheep and goats, in order to bring his own tribe 
of Judah into arms against the king sprung from the 
small tribe of Benjamin. 2 The cave of Adullam was the 
place of gathering. His brothers, the whole house of his 
father, came, and a prophet of the name of Gad, " and 
all oppressed persons, and any one who had a creditor 
and was of a discontented spirit," and " David was their 
chief, and had under him 400 men." 3 

" Saul heard that all men knew about David and 
the men who were with him, and sent out to bring 
before him Ahimelech and the house of his father 
and all the priests of Nob." The king sat on the 
height near Gibeah under the tamarisk, with his spear 
in his hand and his servants round him. " Why hast 
thou conspired against me," he said to Ahimelech, 
'' thou and the son of Jesse, that he has rebelled against 
me. Thou shalt die, and the house of thy father." 

1 1 Sam. xxii. 3 ; 2, x. 1. 

2 In 1 Sam. xxix. 3, Achish says of David, " He has now been 
with me for years." 

3 So the older account, 1 Sam. xxii. 1 5. 


And he commanded his body-guard who stood near 
him : " Come up and slay the priests of Jehovah, their 
hand is with David/' Then 85 men were slain who 
wore the linen tunic ; and Nob, the city of the priests, 
Saul smote with the edge of the sword ; one only, 
Abiathar, a son of Ahimelech, escaped with the image 
of Jehovah to David. 1 

David had no doubt calculated on greater success in 
the tribe of Judah. So long as his following was 
confined to four or six hundred men, he could only 
live a robber life with this troop. But by this course 
he would have roused against himself those whom he 
robbed, and strengthened the attachment to Saul. So 
he attempted to keep a middle path. He sent to 
Naba], a rich man at Carmel near Hebron (p. 127), who 
possessed 3000 sheep and 1000 goats, a descendant of 
that Caleb who had once founded himself a kingdom 
here with his sword (I. 505), and bade his messengers 
say : David has taken nothing of thy flocks, send him 
therefore food for him and his people. But Nabal 
answered : "Who is David, and who is the son of Jesse? 
There are now many servants who run away from 
their masters." Then David set out in the night to 
fall upon Nabal's house and flocks. On the way 
Abigail, Nabal's wife, met him. In fear of the free- 
booters she had caused some slaughtered sheep, loaves, 
and pitchers of wine, some figs and cakes of raisins, to 

1 So the older story, 1 Sam. xxii. The priestly point of view from 
which it is written causes it, in order to prove the innocence of the 
priests, to represent David as saying on his flight to Ahimelech that he 
had a hasty mission from the king, so that Ahimelech can explain to 
Saul that he knew nothing about the flight. From the same point 
of view we must derive the statement that the body-guard hesitated to 
lay hands on the holy men, and that an Edomite slew them. That 
the punishment of Nob took place long after David's flight and 
rebellion, is clear from the fact that the fugitive Abiathar finds David 
already in possession of Kegilah, 1 Sam. xxii. 20 ; xxiii. 6, 7. 

138 ISRAEL. 

be laid on asses in order to bring them secretly into 
David's camp. Praised be thy wisdom, woman, said 
David : by the life of Jehovah, if thou hadst not met 
me there would not have been alive at break of day 
a single male of Nabal and his house. Nabal died ten 
days after this incident. David saw that such a wealthy 
possession in this region could not but be advantage- 
ous. Saul's daughter was lost to him ; he sent, there- 
fore, some servants to Abigail to CarmeL They said, 
David has sent us to thee to take thee to him to wife. 
Abigail stood up, bowed herself with her face to earth, 
and said : Behold, thy handmaid is ready to wash the 
feet of the servants of thy master. Then she set out 
with five of her maids, and followed the servants of 
David and became his wife. 1 As a fact this marriage 
appears to have furthered the undertaking of David ; 
the places in the south of Judah, Aroer, Hormah, 
Ramoth, Jattir, Eshtemod, and even Hebron, declared 
for him. 2 From this point David sought to force his 
way farther to the north, and possessed himself of the 
fortified town of Kegilah (Keilah). 3 

When Saul was told that David was in Kegilah, he 
said : God has delivered him into my hand in that 
he has shut himself up in a city with gates and bars. 

1 1 Sam. xxv. 212, 1842. 

2 1 Sam. xxx. 2631. 

3 That David saved and won Kegilah from the Philistines, and 
obtained a great victory over them, as we find it in the older account 
(1 Sam. xxiii. 1 5), is more than improbable. David certainly could 
not undertake to fight with Saul and the Philistines at one time with 600 
men. How could he meet an army of the Philistines in the field, when 
he does not trust himself to maintain the walls of Kegilah against Saul 
with his troop. The citizens of Kegilah would hardly have been 
prepared to give him up, if just before he had done them such a kind- 
ness. Finally, this battle contradicts the position in which we find 
David before and afterwards with regard to the Philistines. Achish 
at any rate has unbounded confidence in David since his desertion, 
and will even make him " keeper of his head," 1 Sam. xxviii. 2. 


He set out against Kegilah. David commanded 
Abiathar the priest, who had fled to him from Nob with 
the image of Jehovah, to bring the image, and David 
inquired of the image : Will the men of Kegilah 
deliver me and my followers into the hand of Saul ? 
Jehovah, God of Israel, announce this to me. And 
Jehovah said, They will deliver thee. 1 Then David 
despaired of remaining in the city and fled ; he retired 
again into the desert by the Dead Sea near Ziph and 
Maon. But Saul pursued and overtook him ; nothing 
but a mountain separated David's troop from the king ; 
David was already surrounded and lost, when the news 
was brought to Saul, " Hasten and come, for the 
Philistines are in the land." This was no doubt an 
incursion made by the Philistines in aid of the hardly- 
pressed rebels. Saul abandoned the pursuit and went 
against the Philistines : David called the mountain the 
rock of escape. 2 When the king had driven back the 
Philistines he took 3000 men out of the army to crush 
the rebellion utterly. David had retired farther to 
the east, on the shore of the Dead Sea, in the neigh- 
bourhood of Engedi, to the " rock of the goat," and 
there he was so closely shut in by Saul that he had 
to despair of remaining in Judah. He escaped with 
his troop to the Philistines : the rebellion, was at an 
end. 3 

1 1 Sam. xxiii. 913. 2 1 Sam. xxiii. 2528. 

8 So the older account, 1 Sam. xxvi. 1, 2 ; xxvii. 1 3. While 
Saul has cast his spear at David, and pursues him everywhere 
with unwearying energy in order to slay him, David gives him his 
life. According to the older account, Saul sleeps in his encampment in 
the wilderness of Ziph. David with Abishai secretly enters this, and 
he distinctly refuses, when urged by Abishai" to slay Saul, to listen 
to him, because Saul is an " anointed of Jehovah," takes the spear 
and the water-bowl of the king, plants himself on a mountain in the 
distance, and from this reproaches Abner that he has been so careless 
in providing for the safety of the king. Saul is again touched, acknow- 

140 ISRAEL. 

David's attempt to induce the tribe of Judah to fall 
away from Saul was entirely wrecked. Driven from 
the ground on which he had raised the standard of 
revolt, he no longer scrupled to enter formally into the 
service of the Philistines, and these must have welcomed 
the aid of a brave and skilful leader, who, though 

' O 

once their enemy, had already in Judah engaged the 
arms of Saul, the weight of which they had so often 
felt, and which had taken from them their dominion 
over Israel. Achish, king of Gath, to whom David 
again fled, was of opinion " that David had made 
himself to stink among his people, Israel, and would 
be his servant for ever ; " and gave the border city 
Ziklag to be a dwelling for him and his band of free- 
booters. 1 David now settled as a vassal of Achish at 
Ziklag. At his command he was compelled to take 
the field, and also to deliver up a part of the spoil 
which he obtained. 2 Thus from the land of the Philis- 

ledges his sins and follies, begs David to return, and finally gives him 
his blessing on his undertaking. David upon this declares that his Life 
will he regarded before Jehovah as he has regarded Saul's life, and 
escapes to the Philistines. According to the prophetic account, Saul 
" covers his feet " in a cave in the desert of Engedi, in which are con- 
cealed David and his men. These urge David to slay Saul, but he 
replies, "Far be it from me to lay my hand on the Lord's anointed," 
and merely cuts off the corner of Saul's upper garment. When Saul 
awakes and goes out of the cave, David hurries after him, prostrates 
himself, and proves by the piece in his hand that those did him wrong 
who said that he sought to do Saul mischief, ' ' but thou art seeking to 
take my life." Saul weeps, acknowledges that David is more just than 
he is; may Jehovah reward him (David) for this day. "I know," 
Saul continues, " that thou wilt be king, and the kingdom of Israel 
will continue in thy hand." Let David only swear to him not to 
destroy his seed. This David does, 1 Sam. xxiv. 423. If this 
event, in itself all but impossible, ever took place, it must have had 
some consequences ; yet there is no change in the relations of Saul and 
David, Saul continues to pursue David. If David took the oath not 
to destroy the descendants of Saul, he broke it. 

1 So the older account, 1 Sam. xxvii. 12. 

2 1 Sam. xxvii. 6, 12. 


tines, with his band, which here became strengthened 
by the discontented in Israel x who fled to him over the 
border, David carried on a petty war against Saul and 
his country. In these campaigns David was wise 
enough to spare his former adherents in Judah, the 
cities which had once declared for him, and his attacks 
were only directed against the adherents of Saul ; in 
secret he even maintained his connection with his party 
in Judah, and to the elders of the cities which clung 
to him he sent presents out of the booty won in his 
raids and plundering excursions. 2 

David had already lived more than a year in Ziklag, 3 
when the Philistines assembled all their forces against 
Saul. When the princes of the Philistines marshalled 
their army, and caused it to march past in troops, 
David and his men also came among the soldiers of 
Achish. Then the other princes said to Achish : 
What need of these Hebrews ? Let not David go to 
the battle ; he may become a traitor, and go over to 
his master, in order to win favour with Saul at the 
price of our heads. Achish trusted David, and said : 
He has already dwelt with me for a time, for years ; 
to this day I have found nothing in him. But the 

1 Chron. xiii. 17, 20. 

2 1 Sam. xxx. 26 30 ; supra, p. 137. In order to wash David clean 
from the reproach of fighting with the Philistines against his people, 
it is observed (xxvii. 8 11) that David always marched against the 
tribes of the desert, that he cut down the prisoners, and then reported 
to Achish that he " had invaded the south of Judah." The position of 
Ziklag was ill-suited for attacks on the desert, and Achish had not 
given him any commands to fight against the children of the desert. 
At a later time Achish says of David : " Since his desertion I have 
found nothing in him," xxix. 3, 6 ; he will make him even the protector 
of his own life (1, xxviii. 2), and such deceit as is here attributed to 
David presupposes that Achish and all the rest of the Philistines were 

3 1 Sam. xxvii. 7, "one year and four months:" xxix. 3, Achish 
says, " He has been with me for years." 

142 ISRAEL. 

other princes insisted on their demand ; perhaps they 
remembered the day of Mich mash, when Saul had 
obtained his first victory over the Philistines with the 
aid of the Hebrews in their camp. When Achish 
announced to David that he could not accompany the 
army, he answered : What have I done, and what hast 
thou found in thy servant since I came to thee to this 
day, that I should not fight against the enemies of my 
king ? In spite of his earnest desire, David was sent 
back. 1 

The army of the Philistines passed to the north, 
through the land of Ephraim, into the land of Issachar, 
and encamped at Shunem in the plain of Jezreel. On 
Mount Gilboa, over against them, Saul was encamped 
with the army of the Israelites. 2 The battle broke 
out, and the contest was severe. Saul saw his sons 

1 According to the older account, 1 Sam. xxviii. 2, when Achish 
requires him to march with him against Saul, David replies, " So 
shalt thou behold what thy servant will do." The narrative of the 
sending back of David at the wish of the remaining princes, and 
David's protest against it, belong also to the older narrative. This is 
repeated in Chronicles (1, xiii. 19) very emphatically, and without 
any motive in the context, so that it might be possible to accept 
the same view which represents David as constantly marching against 
the desert from Ziklag. For the moral estimate of David it is sufficient 
that it did not rest with him to join in the battle. 

2 The story of the witch of Endor (xxviii. 3 ff.) belongs to the later 
account. To begin with, this account contradicts itself; we are told 
in the introduction (verse 3) that Saul had removed the necromancers 
and " wise men " out of Israel, a statement which is repeated in the 
course of the story (verse 9). Nevertheless Saul causes a witch to be 
sought out, because when already encamped before the Philistines 
" he is in great fear of the enemy." Saul was a brave warrior, who even 
in a worse position had never trembled. He sends for this woman in 
order to speak with Samuel's ghost. If Saul had any desire to see 
ghosts, he would desire to see the ghost of Samuel least of all, for he, 
according to the same prophetic account, had anointed David to be 
king against Saul (verse 11). Samuel as a ghost has thus a third oppor- 
tunity for reproaching Saul, and telling him " that Jehovah had given 
the kingdom to David, because he had not satisfied his wrath on 
Amalek " (p. 129). 


Abinadab and Melchishua, and finally Jonathan himself, 
fall ; the Israelites retired, and the archers of the 
enemy pressed on the king. Saul refused to fly, and 
survive the death of his sous and his first defeat. He 
called to his armour-bearer : Draw thy sword and slay 
me, that these uncircumcised may not come upon 
me and maltreat me. But the faithful comrade would 
not lift his hand against his master. Then Saul threw 
himself upon his sword, and the armour-bearer followed 
the example of the king. The army of the Israelites 
was scattered in every direction. The Philistines 
rejoiced when they found the corpse of Saul on Mount 
Gilboa. They took the armour from the dead king, 
and sent it round their whole land, that every one 
might be convinced that the dreaded leader of Israel 
was no longer living. Then the armour was laid up 
in the temple of Astarfce. The Philistines cut off the 
head of the corpse and hung it up as a trophy in the 
temple of Dagon ; the trunk and the corpses of the 
three sons of Saul were set up in the market-place of 
Beth-shan, not far from the field of battle, in order to 
show the Israelites that they had nothing more to 
hope from Saul and his race (1033 B.C.). 1 

Israel was benumbed with terror. The nurse let 
the young son of Jonathan, Mephibosheth, fall to the 

1 1 Sam. xxxi. 1 11 ; 1 Chron. x. 10. According to a second account 
of the death of Saul in 2 Sam. i. ff., an Amalekite came unexpectedly to 
Mount Gilboa. He finds Saul in flight leaning on his spear, and Saul 
says to him, "Slay me." The Amalekite does so; takes the crown 
from the head of the king, and his bracelets, and then flies to Ziklag 
in the territory of the Philistines in order to bring the crown to David. 
David causes him to be slain, because "he had lifted up his hand 
against the anointed of the Lord." The object of this story is too 
plain to bring the crown of Saul into the hands of David in order to 
make him the legitimate king, and at the same time to exhibit David 
as loyal to Saul even after his death, and avenging his murder and 
the impossibilities in it are too great. David afterwards permitted the 
execution of the remaining descendants of Saul. 

144 ISRAEL. 

ground when she heard the news of Gilboa. Many- 
retired beyond the Jordan before the Philistines ; others 
hastened to Ziklag, to place themselves under David's 
protection. But from Jabesh in Gilead, which Saul had 
once rescued from the most grievous distress, valiant 
men set out over the Jordan to Beth-shan. Here, at 
night, they took the corpses of Saul and his three sons 
from the market-place, brought them to Jabesh, and 
buried them under the tamarisk, and the inhabitants 
of Jabesh fasted and lamented seven days for Saul's 
death. 1 The Israelites had reason enough to sorrow 
and lament for Saul. From one of the songs of 
lamentation sung in these days it is convincingly clear 
what this man had done for them. " The gazelle, O 
Israel," so it was sung at that time, "is stricken on 
thy heights ! Fallen are thy heroes ! Tell it not in 
Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ascalon, lest the 
daughter of the Philistine rejoice, lest the daughter of 
the uncircumcised triumph. Ye mountains of Gilboa, 
let there be no dew nor rain upon you, nor offerings 
of first-fruits ! For there the shield of the mighty was 
cast away, the shield of Saul. From the blood of the 
slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan 
turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not 
empty. Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant 
in their lives, and in their death they were not divided. 
They were swifter than eagles, stronger than lions. 
Ye daughters of Israel, weep for Saul, who clothed 
you delicately in purple, and put ornaments of gold 
on your garments. How are the mighty fallen in 
battle/' 2 

1 1 Sam. xxxi. 12, 13; 2, xxi. 12. 

2 This lament, which was in the book of Jasher (2 Sam. i. 18), is 
ascribed to David. His moral participation in the issue of the 
battle must have been most clear to himself ; his rebellion and deser- 
tion to the Philistines had weakened Saul's powers of fighting and 


A single stroke had annihilated all that had been 
obtained in long and toilsome struggles. The Philistines 
were again masters on this side of Jordan as in the 
unhappy times before Saul. But in spite of the fall 
of the hero who had been the defence of Israel and 
the terror of the enemies, the monarchy remained, 
so firmly had Saul established it. Ishbosheth, the 
youngest son of Saul, had escaped the battle ; with 
Abner, the general, he had found safety beyond the 
Jordan. Here he took up his abode at Machanaim, 
and the tribes on the other side of the Jordan recog- 
nised him as their king. Abner 's sword was a strong 
support for Ishbosheth, and the adherence of the 
Israelites to Saul's family soon permitted him to force 
his way from Machanaim over the Jordan. Here, 
also, amid the arms of the Philistines, Ishbosheth was 
recognised as king. Thus Abner's courage and bravery 
succeeded in wresting the fruits of the victory at Gilboa 
from the Philistines, and liberating from their yoke first 
Ephraim and Benjamin, and then the whole region of 
the northern tribes. 1 

While Abner was engaged in preserving the rem- 
nants of Saul's dominion for his son, and in driving 
the Philistines out of the land, David looked after his 
own interests. The fresh terror of the overthrow at 
Gilboa had driven many Israelites to Ziklag. David's 
name stood high among the warriors of Israel, and pro- 
tection against the Philistines was certain to be found 
with their vassal. The places in the tribe of Judah which 

deprived him of brave warriors ; lie had been ready to fight in the 
army of the Philistines against Saul and Jonathan. Least of all could 
David sing, " Tell it not in Gath," since he himself was in the land of 
Gath. The last verse, " I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan," 
etc., may certainly have come from David, and may have been added to 
the lament at a later time. Thus the whole might appear to be the 
work of David. 
1 2 Sam. ii. 810. 


146 ISRAEL. 

had formerly joined David now again resorted to him, 
and the tribe of Judah had previously been subject to 
the Philistines longer than any other, and was more 
accustomed to their dominion. As the tradition tells 
us, David inquired of Jehovah whether he should go 
from Ziklag into one of the cities of Judah, and 
Jehovah answered : Go to Hebron. This was done. 
"And the men of Judah there anointed David king 
of the house of Judah, for only the house of Judah 
adhered to David." 1 Thus David, after Saul's death, 
succeeded in the attempt which had failed in Saul's 
lifetime ; he established an independent monarchy in 
the tribe of Judah. Here he ruled at Hebron at first 
quietly, under the protection of the Philistines. 2 But 
when Abner had again wrested the north and centre 
of the land from the hands of the Philistines, when 
Tshbosheth's rule again united the whole land as far 
as the tribe of Judah, he turned his arms not more 
against the Philistines than against their vassal at 
Hebron in order to complete the liberation of Israel. 

" The strife was long between the house of Saul and 
the house of David/' so runs the older account. 3 Of 
the events of this war between Judah and the rest of 

1 2 Sam. ii. 1, 3, 410. 

2 This conclusion must be drawn both from the earlier relation to 
the Philistines, and from the fact that David during this whole time 
has not to fight with the Philistines, whereas afterwards, as soon as he 
has united the tribes under his rule, he has to wage the fiercest war 
with them ; apparently he was supported against Ishbosheth and Abner 
by the Philistines in order to put a stop to Abner's advances. Cf. Ewald, 
" G-eschichte des Volks Israel," 2, 572. 

3 David reigned seven years and six months at Hebron, 2 Sam. iii. 
1, 10, 11; 2, v. 4, 5; 1 Kings ii. 11. Ishbosheth's reign is given at 
two years only. These two statements can only be brought into 
harmony by supposing that Ishbosheth was not acknowledged king of 
the northern tribes till five and a half years after Saul's death, i. e. 
Abner required this time to drive the Philistines out of these regions, 
or that David was not acknowledged king of Israel till five and a half 
years after the death of Ishbosheth. 


the tribes, we only know that on a certain day Joab at 
the head of David's men, and Abner at the head of the 
men of Ishbosheth, strove fiercely at the pool of Gibeon, 
and Joab's brother Asahel was slain by Abner. For 
several years the war continued without any decisive 
result, till a division arose between Ishbosheth and 
Abner which gave David the advantage, and finally 
placed him on the throne of Saul. Ishbosheth appears 
to have become distrustful of Abner, to whom he owed 
everything. When Abner took Rizpah, the concubine 
of Saul, to himself, Ishbosheth thought that he intended 
in this way to establish a right to the throne, in order to 
wrest the dominion from himself, and did not conceal 
his anger. 1 Then Abner turned from the man he had 
exalted and entered into a secret negotiation with David. 
This was received with joy by David. Crafty as he was, 
he first demanded that his wife Michal, the daughter 
of Saul, whom Saul after David's rebellion had married 
to Phalti, should be sent back to him. David had 
found out the attachment of the Israelites to the house 
of Saul, and was no doubt of opinion that nothing 
would sooner help him to the throne than the renewed 
connection with Saul's family ; if none of the descend- 
ants of Saul survived but this daughter he would be 
his legitimate heir. Abner sent Michal, and went 
himself to Hebron in order to arrange about the 
transfer of the kingdom. They were agreed ; Abner 
had done his service. He was already on his way 
home to Machanaim, when Joab, the captain of David, 
called him back. He came, and Joab took him aside 
under the gate of Hebron, as though he had something 
to tell him in secret ; instead, he thrust his sword 
through his body. David asserted his innocence and 
lamented Abner's death. Abner's body was buried 

1 2 Sam. iii. 7. 

L 2 

148 ISRAEL. 

solemnly at Hebron. David followed the bier in 
sackcloth, but Joab remained unpunished. 1 He slew 
Abner because the latter had previously slain his 
brother Asahel at Gibeon ; but this was done in 
honourable fight, not by assassination. 

When the announcement of Abner's death came to 
Machanaim " Ishbosheth's hands were numbed, and all 
Israel was troubled." The Israelites lamented Abner's 
death. " Must Abner die as a godless man dieth ? " they 
sang. " Thy hands were never bound, thy feet never 
fettered ; thou hast fallen as a man falls before the 
children of iniquity." 2 The pillar of the kingdom was 
broken. Then two captains of the army of Ishbosheth, 
brothers of the tribe of Benjamin, hoped to gain favour 
with David. While Ishbosheth was resting at midday 
in his chamber on his bed, they entered unobserved 
into his house, cut off his head, and brought it hastily 
to Hebron to David. This murder carried David 
quickly to his goal, but he would not praise those who 
committed it; he caused them both to be executed. 

The throne of Saul was empty. David, the husband 
of his daughter, was at the head of a not inconsider- 
able power ; whom could the tribes who had obeyed 
Ishbosheth raise to the throne except him, if an end 
was to be put to the pernicious division, and the 
people were again to be united under one government ? 
The elders of the tribes were intelligent enough to 
value rightly this position of affairs. Hence the people 
met together at Hebron ; in full assembly David was 
raised to be king of Israel, and anointed by the elders. 3 
Eight years had passed since Saul and his three elder 

1 2 Sam. iii. 3139. 

2 This beautiful lament is also ascribed to David : David was the singer, 
and, like the Psalms, other songs also come from him. But David could 
not speak of Joab and indirectly of himself as a " child of iniquity." 

3 2 Sam. v. 13. 


sons fell on Gilboa. All was full of joy, union, and 
hope that better times would come again after the end 
of the long strife (1025 B.C.). 1 

At length David stood at the goal which he had 
pursued steadfastly under many changes of fortune. 
But there were still some male descendants of Saul in 
existence. The Hivites of Gibeon cherished a deadly 
hatred to the race of Saul, because Saul's hand had been 
heavy upon them " in his zeal for the sons of Israel." 
David offered to " avenge the wrong which Saul had 
done to them." 2 They demanded, that as their land 
had borne no fruit for three years, seven men of the race 
of Saul should be given to them, that they might " hang 
them up before Jehovah at Gibeah," the dwelling- 
place of Saul. There were just seven male descendants 
of Saul remaining : two sons by Rizpah, his concu- 
bine, and five grandchildren, whom Merab, the eldest 
daughter of Saul, had borne to Adriel. These David 
took and "gave them into the hands of the Gibeon- 
ites, and they hanged them up on the hill before 
Jehovah." There was still another descendant of 
Saul's remaining, Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan ; 
but he was only 10 or 12 years of age, and was, 
moreover, lame of both feet, from the fall which he 
had suffered in the hands of his nurse. David also 
thought of the close friendship which he had con- 
tracted in earlier days with Jonathan ; he gave to 
Mephibosheth Saul's land at Gibeah, and arranged 
that Saul and Jonathan's bones should be brought from 
Jabesh to Zelah, near Gibeah, and buried where Kish, 
Saul's father, lay. In the tribe of Benjamin, to which 
Saul belonged, and among those connected with his 
house, the acts of David to the house of Saul were not 
forgotten ; they hated David, the " man of blood." 

1 1 Ckron. xii. 23 ff. 2 2 Sam. xxi. 3. 



AT the cost of his nation, in collusion with the 
enemies of his land, and under the protection of the 
Philistines, David had paved the way to dominion 
over Israel. He had much to make good. He had to 
cause the way which led him to the throne to be for- 
gotten, to heal the wounds which the long contention 
must have inflicted on his land, to surpass the great 
services which Saul had rendered to the Israelites by 
yet greater services, by more brilliant exploits, by more 
firmly-rooted institutions. 

A brave warrior even in early years, David had been 
afterwards tested and strengthened by adventures and 
dangers of every kind ; he had understood how to meet 
or escape even the most difficult situations. He had 
the inclination and power for great things, and was 
little scrupulous in the choice of the means which 
brought him most swiftly and completely to his object. 
His vision was clear and wide ; clever, crafty, and 
quickly decided, he nevertheless knew how to wait 
when the object could not be obtained at the moment. 
It was his in an extraordinary measure to retain old 
comrades, to win new ones and attach them to himself. 
It was not his intention to be at the beck of the 
Philistines longer than he had need of them ; with 
his elevation at Hebron came the moment for breaking 


with them. He saw that they would not lose without 
a heavy price the preponderance in which his rebellion 
against Saul, his leadership in Judah, his struggle 
against Ishbosheth had again placed them ; that their 
exasperation would be the deeper and more lasting 
because he had deceived the hopes which they had 
placed in him. 

He began his reign with an undertaking which 
shows the certainty and width of his views. His 
dominion over the tribes of Simeon and Judah had 
been established for almost eight years, but over 
the northern tribes it was recent, and had to be con- 
firmed. The remembrance of Saul was cherished most 
warmly in the tribe of Benjamin, which lay next 
to Judah on the north. In this land, not far from 
the northern border of Judah, was a city of the name 
of Jebus, inhabited by the Jebusites, a relic of the old 
population which at the time of the settlement the 
Benjaminites had not been able to overcome. 1 The 
city stood on steep heights, surrounded by deep gorges, 
which formed natural trenches ; the walls of the eastern 
height on which the citadel stood, Mount Zion, were 
so strong that the Jebusites are said to have boasted 
that the blind and lame were sufficient to defend them. 
This city appeared to David excellently situated for 
protection against the Philistines and for his own 
royal abode ; it had the faithful tribes of Judah and 
Simeon to the south, and was pushed forward like a 
fortification into the territory of Benjamin and the 
northern tribes. Nor was it useful only in establish- 
ing his dominion over Israel. Even in Saul's reign it 
had been difficult when an enemy invaded the open 
cantons of Israel to find time for assembling the fight- 
ing powers, the levy of the people ; there had been no 

1 Joshua xv. 63 ; Judges i. 21. 

152 ISRAEL. 

fortified point on which the first shock of the enemy's 
onset broke, no city strongly fortified and of consider- 
able size in which large numbers could find protection. 

Soon after the assembly at Hebron, which had trans- 
ferred to him the royal authority over all the tribes of 
Israel, David set himself to win this place. First he 
cut off the water from the city of the Jeljusites, and 
then Joab with the veteran band of David succeeded 
in climbing the wall in a sudden attack. The inhabit- 
ants were spared ; at any rate a part of them must 
have remained, for we afterwards find Jebusites in and 
about Jerusalem. 1 

The princes of the Philistines had begun to arm im- 
mediately upon the announcement of David's election to 
be king of all Israel. 2 David awaited their approach in 
the citadel of Zion which he had just conquered. The 
Philistines encamped before the city. When they were 
scattered in search of plunder in the valley of Rephaim 
David inquired of Jehovah whether he should go down 
against them. The answer was favourable. The Philis- 
tines were surprised and defeated. But they soon 
appeared a second time under the walls of Zion, and 
the oracle of Jehovah bade David not to go directly 
against them, but to turn aside under the balsam trees. 
If he heard the tops of the trees rustle he was to 
hasten on ; that was the sign from God that he would 
go before him to smite the camp of the Philistines. 
So it befel. David gained a great victory and was 
enabled to pursue the Philistines as far as Gezer. 3 
Yet the war was not decided, but still continued for a 
long time. Four battles took place on the borders 
near Gob and Gath, and many severe combats had to 
be fought with the Philistines. From all the traces 


1 2 Sam. v. 5 8; xxiv. 18; 1 Kings ix. 20. 

2 2 Sam. v. 17. 3 2 Sam. v. 2225. 


of tradition it is clear that this war was the most 
stubborn and dangerous of all that David had to wage. 
In Israel there were stories of the brave deeds of 
individual heroes which were accomplished in these 
battles : of Abishai, the brother of Joab, who saved 
the king in battle, when the mighty Philistine Ishbi 
thought to overcome him ; of Elhanan, who slew 
Goliath of Gath; and of the deeds of Jonathan, the 
nephew of David, and Sibbechai against the Philistines. 1 
At length David succeeded in "wresting the bridle out 
of the hand of the Philistines," and " breaking their 
horn in pieces ; " 2 he drove them back to their old 
borders. They had suffered such serious blows that 
for a long time they abstained from all further attacks, 
after they had carried on warfare against the Hebrews 
for about 70 years. Yet even David, in spite of this 
success, made no serious attempt to advance the borders 
of Israel towards the sea, or to subjugate the cities of 
the Philistines. 

When the most pressing danger from the Philistines 
was over, David turned his arms to the south and east, 
against the Amalekites, the Moabites, and Ammonites, 
who had once caused so much misery and disaster to 
Israel. Against the Amalekites Saul had already 
accomplished the main task (p. 127). David smote 
them with such effect that the name of the Amalekites 
is hardly once mentioned afterwards ; the remainder 
of the race seem to have been amalgamated with the 
Edomites. 3 David had at a former time entered into 
connection with the king of Moab ; when he fled from 
Saul he placed his parents under his protection. The 

1 Above, p. 131, note 4; 2 Sain. xxi. 1522; 1 Chron. xxi. 48; 
xix. 1. 

2 2 Sam. viii. 1. Jesus, son of Sirach, xlvii. 8. 

3 Noldeke, " Amalekiter," s. 17 25. 

154 ISRAEL. 

cause of the rupture is unknown ; we only know that 
David utterly overthrew the Moabites and caused two- 
thirds of the prisoners to be put to death. It is said 
that they were compelled to lie down ; they were then 
divided by a measuring cord into three parts, of which 
two were slain by iron threshing-carts being drawn 
over them, and only a third part were spared. 1 Nahash, 
the king of Ammon, with whom David had also pre- 
viously been in relations (p. 136), was succeeded by his 
son Hanon. This prince insulted David's envoys, he 
caused their beards to be shaved off, and their garments 
to be cut away as high as the middle. 

David sent Joab with the levy of the people against 
the Ammonites to avenge the insult. Hanon called 
on the king of Zobah Saul had already had to fight 
against Zobah and the rulers of Beth-Rehob, Maacah, 
and Tob in Syria for assistance. Hadad-Ezer of Zobah 
sent 20,000 men ; from Tob came 12,000 ; from Maacah 
1000. Joab divided his army, left his brother 
Abishai to oppose the Ammonites, and turned himself 
with picked men against the Syrians and defeated 
them before they could join the Ammonites. 2 After this 
defeat the Ammonites also retired before Abishai into 
their fortified city of Rabbath- Ammon on the Nahr- 
Ammon. But in the next spring Hadad-Ezer collected 
his whole force. David marched across the Jordan to 
meet the Syrians, and defeated Hadad-Ezer in a decisive 
battle at Helam ; the Israelites carried off the chariots 
of the enemy for spoil; 1700 horsemen and 20,000 
foot-soldiers were captured. 3 David followed up this 
victory and overran the cities of the king of Zobah, 
when the king of Damascus took the field in aid of 
Hadad-Ezer, and the Edomites invaded Judah from 

1 2 Sam. viii. 2. 2 2 Sam. x. 614. 

3 2 Sam. viii. 3, 4 ; x. 1519. 


the south. David remained in the field against the 
Syrians, and sent Joab with only a part of the army 
against the Edomites. In the salt valley, at the 
southern end of the Dead Sea, Joab and Abishai 
defeated the Edomites; 12,000 out of 18,000 are 
said to have fallen on this day. 1 In spite of this 
severe defeat the Edomites made a stubborn resistance. 
Joab, in continuous struggles which went on for six 
months, destroyed a great part of the male popula- 
tion (the son of the king of Edom was carried by the 
servants of his father to Egypt), and subjugated the 
rest of the inhabitants to the dominion of David. 
While Joab was fighting in Edom, David had defeated 
the men of Damascus and brought the war in the 
north to an end. Thoi, the king of Hamath, whom 
Hadad-Ezer had previously oppressed, entered into a 
league with David. Only the Ammonites still con- 
tinued to resist. Joab was sent against them in the 
next year ; he laid their land waste, and took one 
city after another. The captives were placed under 
saws and axes, and burnt in kilns, or slain like the 
Moabites under iron threshing-wagons. At length 
Joab could announce to David that Rabbath-Ammon, 
the chief city of the Ammonites, was reduced to 
extremities ; the king must come to enter into the 
city. Rabbath was destroyed (about 1015 B.C. 2 ) ; the 
inhabitants shared the fate of the other Ammonite 
cities. From the Syrian campaign David had brought 
back a trophy of 100 war-horses, copper vessels from 
the cities of Hadad- Ezer of Zobah which were captured, 

1 Psalms Ix. 2 ; 2 Sam. viii. 13. 

2 The date rests on the fact that Solomon was born soon after, and 
was more than 20 years old when he came to the throne ; see below. 
The war against Hadad-Ezer cannot be placed before 1020, since Rezon, 
who escaped, remained Solomon's opponent as long as Solomon lived. 
1 Kings xi. 25. 

156 ISRAEL. 

and finally the golden shields which the commanders 
of this king had carried. From Rabbath he brought 
home the golden crown of the king of the Ammonites, 
it is said to have been a Kikkar (I. 285) in 
weight and set with precious stones, together with 
other utensils of silver and gold. The Moabites, the 
Ammonites, and Edomites were compelled to pay 
tribute. Garrisons were put in the strong places ; 
even Damascus is said to have received a garrison of 
Israelites. 1 

After Saul had first saved Israel out of the hand of 
their oppressors, after these advantages were lost by 
the domestic strife, David had now formed the Israel- 
ites into a ruling nation from isolated tribes who had 
been so often and so long plundered by their enemies. 
He had come victorious out of the most severe struggles. 
With reason could Israel now sing: "Saul has slain 
his thousands, David his tens of thousands." 

It was a rapid and brilliant transformation. David 
was master from the borders of Egypt, the north-east 
point of the Red Sea, to Damascus. He was not con- 
tent with successfully establishing his rule for the 
moment by these great and brilliant deeds of arms ; 
he intended to give it a solid support for the future. 
He employed the spoils of his victories in order to 
fortify more strongly and extend the city which he 
had chosen for his metropolis ; it was now called the 
city of David, and afterwards Jerusalem. 2 On Zion, 
the citadel of Jerusalem, David caused a royal palace 
to be built. In the city the remnant of the Jebusites 
had been joined by inhabitants from the tribes of 
Judah and Benjamin. If David hoped to lessen the 
disaffection of the tribe of Benjamin by establishing a 
royal citadel in their land he had not calculated wrongly. 

1 2 Sam. viii. 6, 7, 14; x. 19. 2 1 Kings xi. 27. 


The sequel shows that Benjamin, which previously held 
to Ephraim, now stood fast by Judah. 

In possession of a considerable and well-fortified 
metropolis, and a strong royal citadel, David was able 
to rule over Israel with greater safety and severity 
than Saul from his rural court at Gibeah. Moreover, 
David intended to create independent means and pro- 
perty for the crown, and kept together what he had 
won. From the tribute of the subjugated nations he 
formed a treasury, which was placed under the care of 
Asmaveth. In addition we hear of overseers of the 
royal gardens, oliveyards, vineyards, and sycamore 
plantations, and we learn that David kept flocks of 
small cattle, herds of oxen, and camels. 1 

The strongest support of the throne were his selected 
and thoroughly devoted troops of warriors. David was 
accompanied by a body-guard which was always with 
him (Saul had had round him some "runners"). It 
appears from the name, Pelethites and Cherethites, to 
have been entirely composed of foreigners ; their leader 
was Benaiah. 2 The core of the army was formed not 
by this body-guard, but by the freebooters who once 
gathered round him in the cave of Adullam and at 
Ziklag, warriors tried often and in numerous battles. 
They remained in one body in Jerusalem, and were 
maintained by the king. This band it was ap- 
parently about 600 men in number, 3 and in the ranks 
were also foreigners, Hittites, Ammonites, Moabites, and 
others, who formerly associated with David, or were 
attracted by the fame of his deeds was called the troop 
of the mighty, " Gibborim ; " accompanied by armour- 
bearers and servants, they took the field. They were 

1 1 Chron. xxvii. 2531. 

2 2 Sam. xx. 23; 1 Chron. xviii. 17. 

3 2 Sam. xv. 18. 

158 ISRAEL. 

divided into three portions, under three leaders ; at their 
head fought 30 selected heroes : Abishai, Joab's brother, 
was the captain. 1 As simple peasants, the Israelites had 
always fought on foot, without horses and horsemen ; 
David, after the pattern of the Syrians, introduced 
chariots. Josheb Bassebet was the captain of the 
war-chariots. 2 Along with the Gibborim, the chariots 
were intended to give, as trained divisions, firmness 
and support to the levy of the whole people. 

In order to regulate the levy, Joab, the chief cap- 
tain, with some of his subordinates, was commanded to 
enumerate and write down all the fighting men from the 
Jabbok to Mount Hermon, and from Dan to Beersheba. 
Nine months and twenty days were required by the cap- 
tains for this task. When the muster was completed, 
captains were appointed for hundreds and thousands ; 
but in order that the whole mass of the people need 
not be called out on every campaign and every attack 
of the enemy, in which hitherto, for the most part, 
only those who were eager for battle had engaged, 
while those who preferred peace and rest remained at 
home, the whole number of the fighting men was 
divided into twelve portions, of which each, in number 
24,000 men, was pledged to service for one month iii 
the year. Each of these divisions had a separate 
captain. As occasion required, several of the divisions, 
or all, might be called out. If we may trust these 
accounts, Israel had at that time 300,000 fighting 
men, and consequently a population of about two 
millions. 3 

1 2 Sam. xxiii. 18 ; 1 Chron. xi. 15, 2645. 

2 2 Sam. xxiii. 8. 

3 2 Sam. xxir. 9. The number of the levy here, as in almost all 
accounts of the assembling of the people, must be grossly exaggerated : 
800,000 are given in Israel, 500,000 in Judah only. Chronicles raises 
the first number to 1,100,000, and reduces the second to 30,000, 1 


Hitherto the descendants of the oldest families, the 
heads of the tribes, the successors of those who in the 
conquest of the land had won for themselves separate 
localities and valleys, had enjoyed a pre-eminent 
position within the circle of the various tribes (p. 91). 
To them, or to brave warriors, the Israelites had gone, 
to men who had become of importance owing to their 
possessions, and who had the reputation of passing 
sound judgments, or to priests and soothsayers, when 
they sought for advice, protection, and justice. Since 
the establishment of the monarchy the king was the 
supreme judge. David exercised this office as Saul 
had done. 1 But though he retained the right of 
deciding in the last instance, David seems to have 
appointed the princes and judges of the tribes ; he 
charged certain of his adherents with the duty of 
giving justice to the tribes and communities, although, 
of course, every man had the right of appeal from his 
decision to the decision of the king. Jurisdiction 
and administration not yet being separated, we may 
suppose that a regular government, which secured to 
the throne the execution of its will and of the orders 
given, was established by this means already in David's 
reign. We find that, beside the captains of the army, 

xxii. 5. The statement given in Chronicles about the division of the 
levy into 12 troops, and the strength of these troops (1 xxviii. 1 15), 
contradicts these numbers. As this arrangement of the army is 
mentioned in Chronicles only, which books show a great tendency to 
systematise, the division into 12 remains uncertain. That there was 
a numbering of the people is not to be doubted. It is counted as 
one of David's errors, and Jehovah strikes the people with pestilence. 
This narrative is connected with the command to redeem the firstborn, 
the boys (vol. i. 499), the ordinance given in Exod. xxx. 12, which is 
connected with the same conception : " When thou takest the sum of 
the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every 
man a ransom for his soul to Jehovah that there be no plague among 

1 2 Sam. viii. 15. 

160 ISRAEL. 

the officers of the house and treasury, the king had a 
chancellor, a scribe, and overseer of the taxes. Ahi- 
thophel was the man on whose advice David mainly 
depended ; his most trusted friend was Hushai ; and 
in the last twenty years of his life the prophet Nathan 
enjoyed a high place in his favour. 1 

It was a marvellous career that lay behind David. 
He had grown up in a hardy youth ; early approved as 
a brave warrior and skilful leader, he was then raised 
to the side of Saul and Jonathan ; after this he 
experienced the most sudden reverse of fortune, and 
at length by very perplexed paths he reached the 
highest stage. On this he had been able to retrieve 
many mistakes ; he came victorious out of every con- 
flict. Saul's deeds were surpassed, and Israel was 
proud of the successes of David and the respect which 
he won for her. He had securely established his 
authority ; it was founded so firmly that the crown 
must pass to his descendants. The religious feeling 
which impelled him to inquire of Jehovah before every 
undertaking, which brought him at an early period 
into connection with the seers and priests, could not 
but increase as he looked back upon the course of his 
life. Who had greater reason than he to be thankful 
to the God who protected him and guided him so 
marvellously, who saved him out of every danger and 
had raised him to such power and splendour? In 
early days singing and harp-playing had occupied the 
leisure of his shepherd life ; gifted with poetic powers, 
he understood how to give a powerful expression to 
his gratitude towards Jehovah. After these great 
wars he is said to have sung : " Jehovah, my rock, 
my fortress, my shield ; the horn of my salvation, my 
defence. I called on him who is worthy of praise, and 

1 2 Sam. xx. 2326 ; 1 Chron. xxvil 1622. 


was delivered from my enemies. Out of his palace 
he heard my voice, and my cry came into his ears. 
Then the earth moved and quaked, and the foundations 
of the earth trembled, for he was wroth. Smoke rose 
out of his nostrils, and a consuming fire went from his 
mouth ; coals burned forth from him. He bowed the 
heavens, and came down on the cherubim, and hovered 
on the wings of the wind. He made darkness his veil, 
the tempest and dark cloud his tabernacle. Jehovah 
thundered, and the Highest gave forth his voice, 
hail-stones and coals of fire. He shot forth his arrows 
and destroyed the enemy, the lightning fell and dis- 
persed them. With thee, Jehovah, I wenb against hosts, 
and with my God I climbed over walls. Jehovah girded 
me with power ; he gave me feet like harts' feet ; he 
taught my hand the battle, so that my arm strung the 
iron bow. I pursued my enemies and overtook them, 
and turned not back till I had destroyed them ; I 
shattered them in pieces that they could not rise up ; 
I scattered them like dust before the wind ; I cast them 
forth like dung. Thou, Jehovah, didst save me from 
the battles of the nations, and didst place me at their 
head ; nations which I knew not serve me. At a 
rumour they obey me, and the sons of strangers flatter 
me ; they sink away and tremble out of their castles. 
Praised be my protector, exalted be the God of my 
salvation." 1 

It was not in praise and thanksgiving only that 
David gave expression to the grateful feeling which 
filled him towards God; he had it much at heart to 
create a lasting abode and visible centre for the worship 
of Jehovah. For 20 years the sacred ark of Israel had 
remained at Kirjath-jearim, in the house of Abinadab, 
who had made one of his sons the custodian of it. David 

1 Psalin xviii. ; cf. De Wette-Schrader, " Einloitung," S. 345. 


162 ISRAEL. 

determined to convey it into his metropolis, that it 
might there be in secure keeping, and receive proper 
reverence. It was placed on a new wagon ; Abinadab's 
sons, Ahio and Uzzah, led it forth. On the way an 
evil omen occurred : the oxen which drew the wao;oii 


broke loose, the ark tottered, and Uzzah put out his 
hand to stay it. " Then the anger of Jehovah broke 
forth against Uzzah, and he smote him, and he died 
there before God." After this incident David feared 
to carry the ark further ; it remained on the road, at 
the house of Obed-edom ; and not until it was seen 
that it brought prosperity to the house of Obed-edom 
did David, three months after, again take it up and 
carry it to Jerusalem. In festal train the people 
accompanied it with " shouting and trumpets ; " and 
David, clad in the linen tunic of the priests, " danced 
before Jehovah." " Lift up your heads, O ye gates, 
that the King of glory may come in/' he is said to have 
sung. The tabernacle was already erected on Zion, and 
in it the ark of Jehovah was then placed ; and "David 
sacrificed burnt offerings and thank offerings, and gave 
to all the people, to each man a measure of wine, a 
loaf of bread and a cake of raisins" (about 1020 B.C. 1 ). 
Abiathar, the son of Ahimclech, of the house of Eli, 
of the race of Ithamar, of the tribe of Aaron, who had 
formerly fled to him with the image of Jehovah from 

1 2 Sam. vi. 1 8, 12 15 ; Psalm xxiv. On the date see above, p, 
125, n. 2. M. Niebuhr (" Assur und Babel," a 350) explains the 
number of 466^ years given by Josephus (" Ant." 20, 10) by assuming 
that it contains the interval of 430^ years which the Hebrews give for 
the interval between the building of the temple and its destruction. 
To this amount is added eight years for the captive high priest Joza- 
dak, down to the time when his son Joshua became high priest, and 28 
years for Zadok's priesthood before the commencement of the building 
of the temple. If we reckon the 28 years of Zadok backwards for the 
time that we have assumed for the beginning of the temple, 990 B.C., 
we arrive at the year 1018 B.C. for the erection of the new tabernacle. 


Nob and remained by his side, and beside him Zadok, 
of the house of Eleazar, of the tribe of Aaron, who had 
hitherto been high prisst at the place of sacrifice at 
Gibeon, 1 were made by David the custodians of the 
new tabernacle, which he then adorned with the costly 
spoil of his victories. By bringing the ark of the cove- 
nant into his city he gave it a sacred pledge, the 
assurance of the protection and the grace of Jehovah. 
His city was the dwelling of Jehovah, the citadel of 
Zion the mount of G-od. David's new metropolis was 
thus at the same time raised to be the central point 
of the national worship, and in the fullest sense the 
metropolis of the land. Service before the ark of the 
covenant on Zion could not but throw into the shade 
the old places of sacrifice at Shiloh, Bethel, Gibeon, 
Gilgal, and Nob. 

The erection of the sacred ark on Zion, the found- 
ation of a central point for the worship, certainly met 
the wishes of the priests. Only by a strictly -regulated 
and dominant mode of worship, by centralising the 
service, could the priests hope to bring into vogue the 
arrangement of ritual which they regarded as the true 
method appointed by God. Relying on the import- 
ance of such a central point, on the authority of the 
crown, they could expect obedience to their regulations. 
David on his part would hardly fail to see what weight 
the influence of an allied priesthood could add to the 
strength of the throne. 

What David did for Israel by the cultivation of 
religious song, by setting up the old national shrine in 
the new metropolis, by the dedication of it to be the 
abode of Jehovah has been of deep-reaching and even 
decisive influence for the fortunes of Israel and the 
course of her religious development. It is, of course, 

1 1 Chron. xvi. 39. 


164 ISRAEL. 

beyond doubt that only a few of the Psalms which 
David is said to have sung can with certainty be 
traced back to him ; but from the fact that the greater 
part of these poems could be ascribed to him, it follows 
with the greater certainty that he must have given a 
powerful impulse to the religious poetry of Israel, that 
the words of thankfulness and trust in God from the 
lips of the victorious royal minstrel had the greatest 
influence on the Israelites. This influence connected 
with the exaltation and worship of the national sacred 
relic at Zion gave a new life and firmer root to the 
belief of the Israelites, both in the direction of religious 
feeling and religious prescriptions. When the chief place 
of sacrifice was marked out indubitably by the sacred 
ark on Zion, and members of the oldest priestly family 
officiated there, it was natural that by degrees a con- 
siderable number of priests should collect there, in 
order to share and co-operate in the worship in the 
sacred tent, in the tabernacle. These priests were 
arranged according to their families or "houses;" the 
greater number claimed Eleazar, the third son of 
Aaron, as their progenitor, while the less claimed to 
be descended from Ithamar, the fourth son of Aaron. 1 
The eyes of the priesthood were already turned from 
Hebron to the early history of the nation, to the cor- 
rect mode of worship, as Aaron and Moses had formerly 
proclaimed and practised it, which since the settlement 
in Canaan had become almost forgotten and obsolete 
with priests and laymen, since different customs had 
come into use at different places of sacrifice. The 
service at the new and yet ancient shrine at Jerusalem 
must support the impulse to practise, here at any rate, 
the old correct customs in perfect purity as a pattern 
and example, to insist on the custom of Zion as pleasing 

1 2 Sam. xv. 24, 27 ; 1 Chron. vii. 4 15, 50 53 ; xxiii. xxvi. 


to God and established by Moses, and to bring once 
more into authority and practice the true regulations of 
the sacrificial rites for the whole land. Agreement and 
union in the mode of worship would be most quickly and 
most thoroughly obtained if the place of the tabernacle 
could be shown to be the only correct place of sacrifice. 
Though the Philistines had opposed the growth of 
the strength of Israel, the combination and arrangement 
of her powers, with perseverance and stubbornness, the 
cities of the Phenicians seem rather to have welcomed 
the establishment of a strict ruling authority in Israel, 
which preserved peace in the land and so made trade 
easier. Perhaps too they looked with pleasure on the 
formation of a power which could balance that of the 
Philistines, and prevent them from advancing as far as 
the gates of Tyre. At any rate Hiram, king of Tyre, 
who began to rule in that city in the year 1001 B.C., 1 
entered into friendly relations with David. He sent 
him Tyrian artisans, who adorned David's palace on 
Zion. The Israelites were not skilled in fine building. 
After this palace was completed we must look on 
David's house and court as splendid and numerous. 
There was the chancellor, the keeper of the treasury, 
the chief tax-gatherer, the scribe with his subordinates; 
there were singers, male and female, the body-guard, 
and the servants. 2 David had brought seven wives 
from Hebron to his new metropolis. Michal, the 
daughter of Saul, had borne no children to David ; 
his eldest son, Amnon, was by Ahinoam of Jezreel; 
the second, Chileab, by Abigail, the widow of Nabal. 
When he ruled the tribe of Judah from Hebron he 
married a fourth wife, Maacah, the daughter of 

1 If Josephus is right, that the fourth year of Solomon was the twelfth 
year of Hiram of Tyre. 

2 2 Sam. xix. 35. 

166 ISRAEL. 

Thalmai, prince of Geshur, in order, no doubt, to 
strengthen by this connection his power, then so weak. 
Maacah bore him a third son, Absalom, and a daugh- 
ter, Tamar ; his fifth wife, Haggith, bore a fourth son, 
Adonijah. In Jerusalem he took yet more wives and 
concubines into his house, who, besides these sons, bore 
seventeen sons and several daughters, beside Tamar. 
When his sons became men, the unavoidable conse- 
quences of the harem came to light : the mutual 
jealousy of the sons of the various wives, and the 
ambition of some of the wives to obtain the succession 
for their sons. 

The establishment of the monarchy had brought a 
rich return to the Israelites. Under its guidance, not 
only had the enemies of the land been beaten back, but 
Israel had gained a leading place in Syria. Moreover, 
David had transformed the somewhat insecure leader- 
ship conferred on Saul by his election into a firm and 
deep-reaching supremacy ; a mere name, a wavering 
authority, he had raised after the pattern of his neigh- 
bours into a strict rule, which could lead the people 
at will, and dispose of them at pleasure. This trans- 
formation had taken place so quickly, the enrolment of 
Israel in the forms of Syrian monarchy was carried out 
so thoroughly, that there could not fail to be a strong 
reaction. The new officers were oppressive ; task-work 
for the king, levies of the army for muster and for 
service beyond the land, were to the Israelites new and 
very unwonted burdens. When external dangers had 
passed away with the humiliation of the neighbours, and 
the days of the old incursions, distresses, and oppres- 
sions were forgotten, it might very well happen that the 
Israelites felt the new arrangement of the community, 
the mode in which they were governed, to be a burden 
rather than a benefit. In the later years of the reign of 


David a lively aversion to his rule was spread through 
all the tribes ; and it is remarkable that it was most 
deeply felt in his own tribe of Judah, which had for- 
merly exalted him. in Hebron. On this feeling of the 
people, David's third son, Absalom, founded the plan 
of depriving his father of the sovereignty, in order to 
ascend the throne before it came to him by inheritance. 1 
Absalom, David's son by Maacah of G-eshur, was a 
handsome man, without blemish from head to foot, 
adorned with a heavy growth of hair, and a favourite 
of the people, though the guilt of a foul deed lay upon 
him. The beauty of Tamar, the full sister of Absalom, 
had roused the passions of Amnon, the eldest son of 
David. He enticed her into his house by deceit, dis- 
honoured her and thrust her in scorn into the street. 
As the king did not punish the crime, Absalom invited 
Amnon to his plot of Baal Hazor, to the sheep-shearing, 
and there caused him to be stabbed by his servants in 
order to avenge his sister's shame. After this he fled 
to his grandfather, the prince of Geshur. After three 
years' banishment he was allowed to return, but might 
not see his father's face ; this was not permitted till 
two year safter his return. Amnon was dead ; Chileab, 
David's second son, died, as it seems, in this period. 
Absalom was now again received into favour, and 
became the legitimate heir to the throne. 

1 Absalom's rebellion cannot have taken place till the latter years 
of David. Absalom was born in Hebron, and therefore, at the least, 
after David's thirtieth year, 2 Sam. v. 4. He must at the least have been 
towards 20 years old when he caused Amnon to be murdered. Five 
years passed before David would allow him to enter his presence, 2 
Sam. xiii. 38, and xiv. 28. Lastly, his efforts to gain popularity, and 
the preparations for rebellion, must have occupied two years. If it is 
stated in 2 Sam. xv. 7 that after Absalom's return from Geshur 40 
years elapsed till his rebellion, Absalom must have been 63 years old 
at the time of his rebellion, and David at the least 93 years old. Hence 
in the passage quoted four years must be read instead of 40. 

168 ISRAEL. 

As a token of his claims, Absalom procured horses, 
and chariots and a retinue of 50 men. Early in the 
morning he was at the gates of Jerusalem ; he in- 
quired of every one whence he came, allowed no one 
to prostrate himself before him, but shook all by the 
hand and kissed them. If he heard that any one came 
for justice, he caused the matter to be told to him, and 
then said : Your cause is good, but you will not be 
heard ; if I were judge in Israel you would certainly 
gain your rights. Four years after his return from 
Geshur, when Ahithophel, the most distinguished of 
David's counsellors, and Amasa, the son of a sister of 
David, had gone over to his side, 1 Absalom considered 
his prospects favourable. He sent trusty men to all 
the tribes with instructions to proclaim him king as 
soon as they understood that he was in Hebron. Under 
pretence of offering sacrifice at Hebron, which city 
perhaps looked with jealousy on the new metropolis, 
Absalom went from Jerusalem to Hebron. The tribes 
obeyed this signal for revolt ; everywhere the people 
on this side Jordan declared for Absalom, and great 
numbers gathered round him. At their head he set 
out against Jerusalem, against his father. 

David was completely taken by surprise. His own 
son now brought on him retribution for all that he had 
previously done to Saul. Clever and circumspect as 
the old king was, he seems to have found his master in 
his son. Not secure of the people even at Jerusalem, 
he could not venture to defend himself in his fortified 
metropolis ; nothing remained but to retire in all haste. 
Yet even in this desperate position the cunning which 
had so often come to his aid in his varied life did not 
desert him. Absalom he little ; his greatest terror 
was the counsels of Ahithophel. Hence he commanded 

1 2 Sam. xv. 16; xrii. 2o; 1 Chron. ii. 17. 


Husliai (p. 160) to remain behind, and in appearance to 
take Absalom's part, in order to counteract Ahithophel. 
If Absalom could be induced not to pursue his advantage 
immediately, and David could gain time to collect his 
adherents, much would be won. Abiathar and Zadok 
also, the high priests of the sacred tabernacle, who 
wished to share his flight, were bidden to remain in 
Jerusalem. Their position as priests was a sufficient 
protection for them ; by means of their sons they were 
to furnish information of what took place in the city. 1 
Accompanied by some of his wives and their children, 
by his most faithful adherents, the Gibborim, and the 
body-guard, David left the city in the early morning. 
Over the Kidron, along the Mount of Olives, he 
hastened eastwards to find protection beyond the 
Jordan. At Bahurim Sbimei, a man of Benjamin, of 
the race of Matri, to which Saul belonged, saw from 
an eminence the flight of the king. He threw stones 
down upon him and said : May Jehovah bring upon 
thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place 
thou hast become king ; see, thou art now in calamity; 
away, thou man of blood. The body-guard wished to 
take the man and slay him, but David restrained them, 
and said : My son, who has come forth from my 
loins, is seeking my life ; how much more a man of 
Benjamin ; let him curse. Perhaps at this moment 
David's spirit was really broken ; perhaps he did not 
wish that the people should be further roused by new 
acts of violence ; in the sequel he showed that he had 
neither forgotten nor forgiven the words of Shimei. 

On the same day Absalom marched into Jerusalem, 
and among those who greeted him he saw with astonish- 
ment Hushai, the ancient friend of his father. He 
believed Hushai's assurance that he wished to "serve 

1 2 Sam. XT. 514. 

170 ISRAEL. 

him whom Jehovah and all the men of Israel had 
chosen." Ahithophel considered the success which had 
been obtained, the rebellion which spread through the 
whole country on this side of the Jordan, and the 
possession of the strong metropolis and the palace 
without a blow, insufficient and indecisive. He saw 
the situation clearly, and was convinced that all would 
be lost if the king had time to collect round him his 
old adherents, his companions in victory. Filled with 
the conviction that the only way to obtain the end in 
view was to make an immediate use of the great 
advantages won by the surprise, he insisted that 
Absalom should at once set out in pursuit of David. 
The people which Absalom had led from Hebron were 
numerous, of these he wished to leave behind the 
burdensome multitude and select 12,000 for this ex- 
pedition. Hushai opposed this proposal with great 
skill. Thou knowest thy father, he said to Absalom, 
he is a mighty warrior, like a bear deprived of her whelps 
in the forest, and his men are mighty and of fierce 
courage. He will not be encamped on the field, but 
will have concealed himself in one of the hiding-places. 
If any of our men fall it will be said, Absalom's men 
have been defeated, and all thy adherents will lose 
courage. Rather rouse all Israel, and inarch out at 
their head, that we may encamp against David like 
the sand of the sea, and none of his men may escape. 
Absalom followed this advice to his ruin. Yet Hushai 
was not certain that Ahithophel would not win over 
Absalom to his opinion, or go of his own will against 
David ; so he sent his maid before the gate to the fuller's 
well (to the south of the city, where the valleys of 
Hinnom and Kidron join), where Jonathan, the son of 
Abiathar, and Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok, lay concealed 
(Absalom's men had not allowed them to leave the 


gate), with instructions to them to hasten to the king 
and warn him not to encamp on this side of Jordan. 
Though watched by Absalom's guards and pursued, 
the two men came without disaster to David, who 
again set out in the night. When Ahithophel heard 
that the king was beyond Jordan he despaired of the 
undertaking ; he saddled his ass, went to his own city, 
set his house in order and hung himself. 

Absalom took formal possession of the sovereignty, 
and as a sign that he had broken for ever with his 
father and assumed the government, he took the royal 
harem into his possession. A tent was set up on the 
roof of the palace of Zion, under which Absalom lived 
with the ten concubines whom David had left behind 
in Jerusalem before the eyes of Israel. When this was 
done he raised the whole people to march against his 
father, and went with numerous troops to the Jordan. 
David was at Mahanaim, like Ishbosheth before him, 
eagerly busied with his army. It was due to the 
cunning arrangements made in the flight from Jerusa- 
lem that he had escaped without danger beyond Jordan, 
and was enabled to assemble his own adherents there 
while Absalom was calling out and collecting the whole 
army. From the Ammonites, whom he had treated so 
harshly, he seems nevertheless to have received support. 1 

While Absalom crossed the Jordan, David divided the 
forces he had at his disposal into three corps, the com- 
mand of which he entrusted to Joab, his brother Abishai, 
and Ithai, a Philistine of Gath. He remained behind 
in Mahanaim, and bade the captains deal gently with 
Absalom in the event of victory. The armies met in 
the forest of Ephraim, not far from the Jordan. In spite 
of the superiority of the numbers opposed to them, the 
tried and veteran soldiers of David had the advantage 

1 2 Sam. xvii. 27. 

172 ISRAEL. 

over the ill-armed and ill-organised masses of peasants. 
Absalom started back on his mule, fell into a thicket, 
and became entangled by his long hair in the branches 
of a large terebinth. He remained hanging while his 
mule ran away from under him. Joab found him in 
this position, and thrust his spear thrice through his 
heart. Either the fall of the hostile leader, the author 
of the rebellion, appeared a sufficient success to David's 
men, or the advantage gained over Absalom's army was 
not very great, or they found themselves too weak to 
follow it up. Joab led the army back to Mahanaim. 

Though the rebellion had lost its leader by the fall 
of Absalom, it was far from being crushed. Absalom's 
captain, Amasa, the nephew of David, collected the 
masses of the rebellious army ; the elders of the tribes, 
as well as the people, were ready to continue the 
struggle against David, though some were again in- 
clined to accept their old king. If the tribes could be 
divided, and Amasa separated from the elders of Judah, 
the victory was almost certain. On this David built 
his plan. By means of the priests Abiathar and Zadok 
he caused it to be made known to the elders of Judah 
that the rest of the tribes had made overtures to him, 
to recognise him again as king, which was not the case ; 
would they be the last to lead back their own flesh 
and blood, their tribesman David ? At the same time 
the priests were bidden to offer to Amasa the post of 
captain-general as the reward of his return, and this 
offer David confirmed with an oath : So might God do 
to him if Amasa were not captain all his days in the 
p]ace of Joab. 1 The elders of Judah allowed themselves 
to be entrapped no less than Amasa, who little knew 
with whom he had to do. They sent a message to 
the king that he might return over the Jordan, and 

1 2 Sam. xix. 1113. 


went to meet him at Gilgal. David showed himself 
placable, and prepared to pardon the adherents of 
Absalom. Shimei, who had cursed him on his retire- 
ment from Jerusalem, went to meet him at the Jordan ; 
and when the boat which carried David over reached 
the hither bank he fell at his feet. David promised 
not to slay him with the sword. 1 From Mephibosheth, 
the son of Jonathan, who had declared for Absalom, 
he only took the half of Saul's inheritance. 2 

The remaining tribes were enraged at the tribe of 
Judah, partly because they had abandoned the common 
cause, partly because Judah had entirely appropriated 
the merit of bringing back the king. Their feelings 
were wavering : half were for submission, the others 
for continuing the resistance. 3 Then rose up a man 
of Benjamin, Sheba, the son of Bichri. "What part 
have we in David, what portion in the son of Jesse ? " 
he cried to the waverers, caused the trumpets to be 
blown, and gave a new centre to rebellion and resist- 
ance. David commissioned Amasa to call out the 
warriors of Judah within three days and lead them to 
Jerusalem. While Amasa was occupied with carrying 
out this command, David sent Joab with the Gibborim 
and the body-guard against Sheba. At Gibeon Joab 
met Amasa. Is all well with thee, my brother ? he 
said, and took him by the beard with his right hand 
to greet him, while with the left he thrust his sword 
through his body. 4 Thus, after he had been gained by 
deceptive promises, the dangerous man was removed 
as Abner had been before him. Sheba could not 
withstand the impetuous advance of Joab ; the tribes 
submitted. Sheba's first resistance was made far in the 

1 2 Sam. xix. 1833 ; 1 Kings ii. 8. 

2 2 Sam. xvi. 35 ; xix. 2430. 3 2 Sam. xix. 40. 
* 2 Sam. xx. 813 ; 1 Kings ii. 5. 

174 ISRAEL. 

north at Dan, in the city of Abel-beth-maachah, and 
there he defended himself so stubbornly that a rampart 
was thrown up against the city and besieging engines 
brought up agaicst the walls. When the walls were 
near upon falling, and the citizens saw destruction 
before them, they saved themselves by cutting off 
Sheba's head and sending it to Joab. 1 The reaction 
of the people against the new government, at the head 
of which Absalom, Amasa, and Sheba had successively 
placed themselves, was overcome. 

Many years before, at the time when Joab was 
besieging Rabbath, the metropolis of the Ammonites, 
David had gone out on the roof of his house in Zion in 
the cool of the evening. This position overlooked the 
houses in the ravine which separated the citadel from 
the city. In one of these David saw a beautiful woman 
in her bath. This was Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, a 
Hittite, who served in the troop of the "mighty." The 
king sent for her to his palace, and she soon announced 
to David that she was with child. David gave orders 
to Joab to send Uriah from the camp to Jerusalem. 
He asked him of the state of the war and the army, 
and then bade him go home to his wife, but Uriah lay 
before the gate of the palace. When David asked him 
on the next morning why he had not gone home to 
his house, he answered : Israel is in the field, and my 
fellows lie in the camp before Rabbath, and shall I go 
to my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife ? 
Remain here, replied David ; to-morrow morning I 
will let thee go. David invited him into the palace 
and made him drunken, but, as before, Uriah passed 
the night before the gate of the palace. Then, on the 
following day, David sent Uriah to the camp with a 
letter to Joab : Place Uriah in the thickest of the 

1 2 Sam. xx. 1522. 


battle, and turn away from him, that he may be 
smitten, and die. Soon after a messenger came from 
the camp and announced to the king : The men of 
Rabbath made a sally ; we repulsed them, and drove 
them to the gate ; then the bowmen shot at thy 
servants from the walls, and some of our men were 
slain, amonor them Uriah. David caused Bathsheba, 
when the time for mourning was over, to come into his 
harem, and after the death of her first child, she bore 
a second child, whom David called Solomon, i. e. the 
peaceful, 1 as the times of war were over with the cap- 
ture of Rabbath and the subjugation of the Ammonites. 
After Absalom's death the heir to the crown was 
Adonijah, the fourth son of David, whom Haggith had 
borne to him while at Hebron. Solomon was the 
seventh in the series of the surviving sons of David, 
and as yet quite young ; yet Bathsheba attempted to 
place her son on the throne. One of the two high 
priests, Zadok, supported Bathsheba's views, as also 
Nathan the prophet, who acquired great influence 
with David in the last years of his reign. Both might 
expect a greater deference to priestly influence from 
the youthful Solomon than from the older and more 
independent Adonijah, and the more so if they 
assisted the young man to gain the throne against the 
legitimate successor. So Bathsheba prevailed upon 
David to swear an oath by Jehovah that Solomon 
should be his successor in the place of Adonijah. 2 But 
Adonijah did not doubt that the throne belonged to 
him, that all Israel was of the same conviction, and 
their eyes turned upon him. 3 If Zadok was in favour of 
Solomon's succession, Abiathar, the old and influential 
adherent of David, was for Adonijah, and what was 

1 2 Sam. xii. 1524 ; 1 Chron. xxii. 9. 2 1 Kings i. 17, 20. 
3 1 Kings ii. 15, 22. 

176 ISRAEL. 

more important, the captain of the army, Joab, who 
had won David's best victories, also declared for him. 
On the other hand, Bathsheba's party won Benaiah, 
the captain of the body-guard, so that the power and 
prospects of both party were about equal. 

When David, 70 years old, lay on his death-bed, 
Adonijah felt that he must anticipate his opponents. 
He summoned his adherents to meet outside the walls 
at the fuller's well (p. 170). Joab appeared with the 
leaders of the army, Abiathar came to offer sacrifice, 
and all the sons of David except Solomon. The sacri- 
fice was already being offered, the sheep, oxen and 
calves were killed, the proclamation of Adonijah was 
to follow immediately after the sacrifice, when the 
intelligence was carried to the opposite party. Bath- 
sheba and Nathan hastened to the dying king to 
remind him of his oath in favour of Solomon. He 
gave orders that Solomon should be placed on the 
mule which he always rode himself and that Zadok 
should anoint the youth under the wall of Zion east- 
wards of the city at the fount of Gihon. Then 
Benaiah with the body-guard was to bring him back 
into the city at once with the sound of trumpets, and 
lead him into the palace, in order to set him upon the 
throne there. This was done. Zadok took the horn 
of oil from the sacred tabernacle, and when the new 
ruler returned in solemn procession to the palace all 
the people cried with joy : Long live king Solomon. 
When Adouijah and his adherents heard the shouting 
from the city, and understood what had taken place, 
they gave up their cause for lost, and dispersed in 
dread in every direction. David rejoiced over this 
last success ; l he called Solomon to his bedside, and 
said to him : " Do good to the sons of Barzillai the 

1 1 Kings ii. 5 9. 


Gileadite; he received me well when I fled over 
Jordan before thy brother Absalom. Shimei, who 
cursed me when I fled to Mahanaim, I have sworn not 
to slay ; let him not go unpunished, and bring his 
grey hairs to the grave with blood. What Joab did 
to Abner and Amasa thou knowest ; let not his grey 
hairs go down to the grave in peace." 1 David was 
buried in the grave which he had caused to be made 
on Zion, where the heights of the citadel meet the 
western height, on which the city lay. 

Thus David had succeeded in healing the wounds 
which his ambition had inflicted in past days on Israel ; 
he understood how to establish firmly the monarchy, and 
along with it the power and security of the state. He 
had given such an important impulse to the worship, to 
the religious poetry, and consequently to the religious 
life, of the Hebrews, that his reign has remained of de- 
cisive importance for the entire development of Israel. 
But beside these great successes and high merits lie very 
dark shadows. If we cannot but admire the activity 
and bravery, the wisdom and circumspection, which 
distinguish his reign, there stands beside these qualities 
not only the weakness of his later years, which caused 
him to make a capricious alteration in the succession, 
thereby endangering the work of his life ; other actions, 
both of his earlier and later years, show plainly that in 
spite of religious feeling and sentiment he did not hesi- 
tate to set aside very fundamental rules of morality 
when it came to winning the object he had in view. 

If even in his last moments he causes Joab to be 
put to death by the hand of his son, it may be 

1 1 Kings ii. 5 9. The verses 2 Sam. xxiii. 1 7 may have been a 
speech of David's at some former time, if they are not an addition of 
the prophet's. Contrasted with the very definite and realistic colouring 
of the passage quoted from the Book of Kings, they can hardly be 
considered the last words. 


178 ISRAEL. 

that this old servant, when he had taken the side 
of the other son in the succession, appeared very 
dangerous for the rule of the younger son. But Joab 
had rendered the greatest services to David, he had 
won for him the most brilliant victories ; and if our 
account makes David give the murder of Abner and 
Amasa as the reason for that command, David had 
made no attempt to punish one deed or the other ; on 
the contrary, he had gladly availed himself of at least 
the results and fruits of them. We must not indeed 
measure those days of unrestrained force and violent 
passion in hatred and love, in devotion and ambition, 
by the standard of our own tamer impulses ; the 
manner of the ancient East, above all of the Semites, 
was too much inclined to the most bloody revenge. 
Yet David's instructions to destroy a man of no im- 
portance, whom he had once in a difficult position 
sworn to spare, out of the grave, by the hand of his 
son, goes beyond the limit of all that we can elsewhere 
find in those times and feelings. 



IN the last hour of his life David had raised his 
favourite son to the throne. The young king was not 
much more than 20 years of age, 1 and the news of the 
death of the dreaded ruler of Israel could not but 
awaken among all who had felt the weight of his arm 
the hope of withdrawing themselves from the burden 
laid upon them. The son of the king of Edom, whom 
his father's servants had carried away, in safety into 
Egypt, had grown up there under the protection of the 
Pharaoh ; at the news of David's death he hastened 
to Edom to summon his people to freedom and the 
struggle against Israel. A captain of Hadad-Ezer 
of Zobah, whom David overthrew, Rezon by name, 
fled at that time into the desert, where he collected a 
troop round him and lived by plundering. Now he 
threw himself on Damascus, gained the city, and made 
himself prince. Moreover, the power of Solomon was 
not firmly established even in Israel; the people had 
expected the accession of Adonijah, 2 and though he 

1 Bathsheba became David's wife not long before the capture of 
Rabbath-Ammon. Her first child died. According to 1 Kings iii. 7, 
Solomon, at the time of his accession, is still a boy. But since, accord- 
ing to 1 Kings xiv. 21, his son Kehoboam is 42 years old at Solomon's 
death, and Solomon had reigned 40 years, Solomon must have been 
more than 20 at the death of David. Hence, on p. 155 above, the date 
of the capture of Rabbath- Ammon is fixed at 1015 B.C. 

3 1 Kings ii. 15. 

N 2 

180 ISRAEL. 

and his confederates retired at the first alarm, there 
was no lack of adherents. Serious dangers and com- 
motions appeared to threaten the new reigri. Adonijah 
had fled for refuge to the altar ; he besought Solomon 
for a pledge not to slay him. Solomon promised to 
spare him if he remained quietly at home. Joab did 
not know what commands David had.given Solomon in 
his dying hour, but he did know that Solomon would 
not forgive him for supporting Adonijah. He sought 
refuge in the tabernacle of Jehovah, and took hold of 
the horns of the altar in the tent. Solomon bade 
Benaiah cut him down. Benaiah hesitated to pollute 
the altar with blood ; he reported that Joab could 
not be induced to leave the altar. The young king 
repeated his command, " Cut him down, and take from 
me and from the house of my father the blood of Abner 
and the blood of Amasa." So Joab was slain by Benaiah 
at the altar of the sacred tent, and buried " in his house 
in the desert." The high priest Abiathar escaped with 
his life. " I will not slay thee," so Solomon said to 
him, " because thou didst once suffer with my father." 
He banished him as a " man of death " to his inherit- 
ance at Anathoth. Zadok was henceforth sole high 
priest at the sacred tent. When Adonijah afterwards 
besought Solomon to give him one of the concubines 
of David, Abishag the Shunamite, to wife, Solomon 
thought that he sought to obtain the throne by this 
means. He commanded Benaiah to slay him on the 
spot. With the death of Adonijah his party lost their 
head and centre : it ceased to exist. 

Solomon broke the rebellion of the Edomites not by 
his arms only, but also by withdrawing from them the 
support of Egypt. He sought the hand of the daughter 
of the king of Egypt and obtained it. 1 Thus he not 

1 1 Kings iii. 1. From the statement in 1 Kings xi. 14 21, this 


only withdrew from Edom their reliance on Egypt, he 
also obtained the active support of his father-in-law. 
The Edomites were defeated in battle by Solomon ; 
Egyptian soldiers reduced Gezer for him. 1 On the 
other hand. Solomon could not defeat the new kino- of 

* o 

Damascus. Rezon maintained his place, and was an 
" adversary to Israel as long as Solomon lived." 2 
Hence it is hardly possible that Solomon reduced the 
kingdom of Hamath, north of Damascus, to subjection, 
as the Chronicles assert ; 3 on the other hand, it appears 
that the oasis of Tadmor, in the Syrian desert, north of 
Damascus, was gained, and the city of that name was 
founded and established there. Hence, even after the 
loss of Damascus, he had command of one of the roads to 
the Euphrates. 4 We may assume that Solomon retained 
the kingdom of David without any essential alteration 
in extent ; that he, like his predecessor, held sway as 
far as the north-east point of the Red Sea ; and that 
even if his rule did not extend, like David's, to the 
Euphrates, yet he possessed a predominant position in 
this direction. The connection in which Hiram king 
of Tyre stood with his father he not only maintained, 
but made it more close and more extensive. 

With the close of the third year of the reign of 
Solomon the wars which the change on the throne 
kindled came to an end. It is said to have been David's 
intention in the last years of his reigri to build a 
temple in the place of the sacred tent on Zion. As 

must have been the daughter of Amenophtis, the Pharaoh who 
succeeded the king mentioned here, the fourth Tanite in Manetho'a 
list. Below, Book IV. chap. 3. 

1 1 Kings ix. 16. 2 1 Kings xi. 2325. 

3 2 Chron. viii. 3. 

4 2 Chron. vii. 8; viii. 4; 1 Kings ix. 18; Joseph. "Antiq." 8, 6, 
1. The passage in the Book of Kings appears, it is true, to indicate 
Thamar in Southern Judsea. 

182 ISRAEL. 

soon as times of peace came Solomon set himself to carry 
out this purpose. Hiram of Tyre promised to deliver 
wood from the forests of Lebanon at a price, and to put 
at his disposal architects and moulders of brass. To 
the north of the palace which David had built on Zion 
the mountain, on which the citadel was, rose higher. 
Here the new temple was to be erected. The first task 
was to level the height ; a terrace was raised upon it 
by removing some parts and filling up others, arid 
building substructures ; this terrace was intended to 
form the precincts and support the temple itself. The 
surrounding hills and the neighbourhood provided 
an ample supply of stones for building ; stone of 
a better quality was quarried in Lebanon and carried 
down. The trees felled in Lebanon were carried to 
the coast, floated round the promontory of Carmel 
as far as Japho (Joppa), and again dragged up from 
this point to Jerusalem. 1 The vessels and the orna- 
ments of brass intended for the temple were cast " in 
clay ground" beyond the Jordan, between Succoth and 
Zarthan, by the Tyrian Hiram. 2 A wall of huge 
stones, on which were built the dwellings of the priests, 
surrounded the temple precincts. The temple itself 
was a building of moderate dimensions, but richly 
adorned. A portico of 20 cubits in breadth and 10 
cubits in depth, opening to the east, formed the 
entrance into the temple. Before this portico, after the 
Syrian manner, stood two pillars of brass, one called 
Jachin, the other Boaz. The temple, exclusive of the 
portico, was 60 cubits in length, 20 cubits in breadth, 
and 30 cubits in height. The breadth was limited by 
the unsupported span of the beams of the roof. On 
both sides of the temple itself leaned side-buildings, 
which rose to the height of half the main structure. 

1 1 Kings v. 710, 1517. 2 1 Kings vii. 46. 


The front space of the temple was lighted by trellised 
openings over these side-buildings. This front space, 
which was the largest, and entered from the portico 
by a door of cypress wood, adorned with carved work 
overlaid with gold, was richly ornamented. The 
floor was laid with cypress wood overlaid with gold ; 
the walls and the roof were covered with panels of 
cedar wood, which in richly-carved work displayed 
cherubs and palm-branches, so that not a stone could 
be seen in the interior. In this space of the temple 
the " holy " was an altar overlaid with gold for 
offering frankincense (for the smoke -offering), and a 
sacred table for the sacrificial bread. Nearer to the 
inner space of the temple the "holy of holies" 
were ten candlesticks, and further in a candlestick with 
seven branches. The holy of holies, i. e. the smaller 
inner space of the temple, which was intended to 
receive the sacred ark, was divided from the holy by 
a wall of cedar wood, in which was a double door of 
olive wood, hanging on golden hinges. Only the 
high priest could enter the holy of holies, the walls 
of which were covered with gold-leaf, and even from 
him the sight of the ark was hidden by a curtain 
of blue and red purple, and approach was barred by a 
golden chain. Immediately before the ark were two 
cherubs of carved olive wood overlaid with gold, 10 
cubits high, with outspread wings, so that from the 
point of one wing to the point of the other was also a 
distance of 10 cubits. 1 

The sacrifices of animals were offered in the open air 
of the court in front of the temple. For this object a 
great altar of brass was erected in the middle of the 
court, 10 cubits in height and 20 in the square. 
Southward of this altar was placed a great basin, in 

1 1 Kings vi., vii. 1351 ; 2 Chron. iii. 4, 10. 

184 ISRAEL. 

which the priests had to perform their ablutions and 
purifications ; this was a much-admired work of the 
artisan Hiram, and called the sea of brass. Supported 
by twelve brazen oxen, arranged in four sets of three, 
and turned to the four quarters of the sky, the round 
bowl, which was of the shape of a lily broken open, 
measured five cubits in depth and 30 in circumference. 1 
Beside this great basin five smaller iron bowls were set 
up on either side of the altar. These rested on wheels, 
and were adorned with cherubs and lions, palms and 
flowers, with the greatest skill. They were intended 
to serve for washing and purifying the animals and 
implements of sacrifice. 

Solomon commenced the building of the temple in 
the second month of the fourth year of his reign (990 
B.C.). After seven years and six months it was finished 
in the eighth month of the eleventh year of Solomon's 
reign (983 B.C.). The elders of all Israel, the priests 
and Levites, and all the people " from Hamath to the 
brook of Egypt," flocked to Jerusalem. In solemn 
pomp the sacred ark was drawn up to the temple 
height; oxen and sheep without number were sacrificed 
for seven days, and from that time forward the king 
offered a solemn sacrifice each year at the three great 
festivals in the new temple. 2 

The house which David had built for himself on 
Zion no longer satisfied the requirements of Solomon 
and his larger court. When the temple was finished 
he undertook the building of a new palace, which was 
carried out on such a scale that the completion occu- 
pied thirteen years. 3 The new palace was not built on 

1 A similar vessel of stone, 30 feet in circumference, adorned with 
the image of a bull, lies among the fragments of Amathus in Cyprus : 
O. Miiller, " Archaeologie," 240, Anm. 4. 

2 1 Kings ix. 25. 3 1 Kings vii. 112. 


Zion, but on the western ridge, which supported the 
city to the west of Zion and David's palace. It con- 
sisted of several buildings, surrounded by courts and 
houses for the servants, and enclosed by a separate wall. 
The largest building was a house of stone three stories 
high, the stories and roof of which were supported by 
cedar pillars and beams of cedar; the length was 100, 
the breadth 50, and the height 30 cubits (about 50 feet). 
A balustrade or staircase in this house was made of 
sandal wood, which the ships of Ezion-geber had 
brought from Ophir. 1 On this building abutted three 
colonnades, the largest 50 cubits long and 30 broad ; 
the third was the hall of the throne and of justice. 2 
Here stood the magnificent throne of Solomon, " of 
which the like was never made in any kingdom," of 
ivory overlaid with gold. Six steps, on which were 
twelve lions, led up to it ; beside the arms of the 
seat were also two lions. 3 Then followed the dwelling 
of Solomon, from which a separate stair-way was 
made leading up to the temple, together with the 
chambers for the wives of the king, their number is 
given at 700, the number of the concubines at 300, 4 
and lastly a separate house for his Egyptian consort, 
who passed as the first wife, and was honoured 
and distinguished above the rest. In the four-and- 
twentieth year of Solomon's reign (970 B.C.) this 
building was brought to an end, " and the daughter 
of Pharaoh went up from the city of David into the 
house which Solomon had built for her." 5 

Solomon felt it incumbent on him to secure his land, 
and not merely to adorn the metropolis by splendid 

1 1 Kings x. 12 ; 2 Chron. ix. 11. 2 1 Kings vii. 7. 

3 1 Kings x. 1820. 

4 The Song of Solomon says, "There are 60 queens, 80 concubines, 
and maids without number." 

5 1 Kings ix. 10, 24. 

186 ISRAEL. 

buildings, but to make it inaccessible to attack. To 
protect northern Israel against Rezon and Damascus 
he fortified Hazor, whose king had once so grievously 
oppressed Israel, and Baalath ; to protect the western 
border he fortified Megiddo, Gezer, and Beth-horon. 1 
The defensive works which David had added to the 
old fortifications of the metropolis he enlarged and 
extended. The gorge which, running from north to 
south, divided the city of Jerusalem on the western 
height from the citadel of Zion on the east he closed 
towards the north by a separate fortification, the tower 
of Millo. By another fortification, Ophel, he protected 
a depression of Mount Zion between David's palace 
and the new temple, which allowed the citadel to be 
ascended from the east. The space over which the 
city had extended on the western height opposite the 
temple, in consequence of the growth of a suburb there 
towards the north, the lower city, he surrounded with 
a wall. 2 He raised the number of the chariots of war, 
which David had introduced, to 1400, for which 4000 
horses were kept. He formed a cavalry force of 12,000 
horses, he built stables and sheds for the horsemen and 
chariots. If we include the body-guard, the standing 
army which Solomon maintained may very well have 
reached 20,000 men. 3 

The excellent arrangement of his military means and 
forces must have contributed to make Israel respected 
and to preserve peace in the land. In Solomon's 
reign, so we are told in the Books of Kings, every one 
could dwell in peace under his own vine and his 
own fig tree. 4 This peace from without, united with 
the peace which the power and authority of the 
throne secured in the country, must have invigorated 

1 1 Kings ix. 1519. 2 1 Kings xi. 27; ix. 1524-. 

3 1 Kings iv. 26 ; x. 26. 4 1 Kings iv. 20, 25 ; v. 4. 


trade, favoured industry, and considerably increased 
the welfare of Israel. The example of the court, the 
splendour and magnificence of which was not increased 
by buildings only, made the wealthy Israelites ac- 
quainted with needs and enjoyments hitherto unknown 
to their simple modes of life. If hitherto the Israelites 
had sold to the Phenicians win3 and oil, the wool of 
their flocks, and the surplus products of their lands for 
utensils and stuffs, the finer manufactures of the Pheni- 
cians now found a demand in Israel, If the kino- of 


Israel was friendly to the Pheuicians, he allowed them. 
a road by land through his territories to Egypt ; now 
that the Ammonites, Moabites and Edomites had 
been subjugated he could close or open the caravan 
road past Rabbath-Ainmon, Kir Moab, and Elath to 
South Arabia (I. 320), and when Tadmor was in his 
hands he could permit or prohibit a road to the 
Euphrates beside that past Damascus. Solomon pro- 
hibited none of these ; on the contrary, he promoted 
the intercourse of the merchants by erecting restino-- 

/ O O 

places and warehouses on all the lines of traffic which 
crossed his dominions. 1 The exportation of chariots 
and war-horses from Egypt to Syria, which the 
Pharaoh no doubt permitted in an especial degree 
to his son-in-law, Solomon carried on by means of 
merchants commissioned by him. 2 Another trade 
undertaking, at once much more far-seeing, and 
promising far greater gains, he commenced in union 
with the king of Tyre. It was of great importance to 
the Phenicians to obtain an easier connection with 
South Arabia in the place of, or at least in addition 
to, the dangerous and very uncertain caravan routes 
past Damascus and Dumah (I. 320), or past Elath 
along the coast of the Bed Sea, to South Arabia. The 

1 1 Kings ix. 19. 2 1 Kings x. 29. 

188 ISRAEL. 

circuit by Babylon was very distant, and not much 
more secure. The rule of Solomon over Edom pointed 
out the way, and secured the possibility of reaching 
South Arabia by the Red Sea, At Eziongeber, near 
Elath, Tyrian shipbuilders built the vessels which were 
to explore the coasts of South Arabia, the coasts of the 
land of gold. Guided by Phenician pilots, Phenicians 
and Israelites sailed into the unknown sea, and to 
unknown and remote corners of the earth. They 
succeeded not only in reaching the South Arabian 
coasts and the coasts of East Africa, but in passing 
beyond to Ophir, i. <?., as it seems, to the mouths of 
the Indus. After an absence of three years the first 
expedition brought back gold in quantities, silver, 
ivory, sandal wood, precious stones, apes and pea- 
cocks. The profits of this expedition are said to have 
contributed as Solomon's share 420 Kikkars of gold, 
i. e. towards 20,000,000 thalers (about 3,000,000). 1 

With the increased sale of the products of the 
country, the improvement and security of the great 
routes of traffic, the entrance of Israel into the trade 
of the Phenicians, and the influx of a considerable 
amount of capital, money seems to have become very 
rapidly and seriously depreciated in price in Israel. 
Before the establishment of the monarchy a priest is 
said to have received 10 silver shekels, with food and 
clothing, for his yearly service at a sacred place. 2 The 
amount from which Abimelech is said to have main- 
tained his retinue (p. 107) is placed at only 70 shekels 
of silver. ^Before the epoch of the monarchy the prophet 
received a quarter of a shekel as a return for his 
services. David purchased the threshing-floor of 

1 1 Kings ix. 2628 ; x. 22. 

2 Judges xvii. 10. The Hebrew silver shekel is to be reckoned at 
more than 2s. 6d. ; the gold shekel from 36 to 45. C Vol. i. 304. 


Araunah at Zion with two oxen for 50 shekels of 
silver. 1 On the other hand, Solomon appears to have 
paid the keepers of his vineyards a yearly salary of 
200 silver shekels, and in his time 150 shekels were 
paid for an Egyptian horse, and 600 shekels (500 
thalers = 80) for a war-chariot. 2 

The prosperity of the land allowed Solomon to 
increase the income of the throne by taxation of the 
people. His income from the navigation to Ophir, 
from trade, from the royal demesnes, and the taxes of 
Israel is said to have brought in a yearly sum of 
666 Kikkars of gold, i. e. about 30,000,000 of thalers 
(about 5, 000,000). 3 He applied these revenues to 
the support of his army, to his fortifications, sheds, and 
splendid buildings, to the erection of the stations on 
the trade roads, and finally to the adornment of the 
court. " He built in Jerusalem, on Lebanon, and in 
the whole land of his dominion," say the Books of 
Kings. 4 We hear of conduits, pools and country 
houses of the king on Antilibanus ; of vineyards and 
gardens at Baal-Hammon. The splendour of his court 
is described in extravagant terms. All the drinking- 
vessels and many other utensils in the palace at Jeru- 
salem, and in the forest-house in Antilibanus, are said 
to have been of pure gold, and the servants were 
richly clad. 5 In a costly litter of cedar wood, of which 
the posts were of silver, the arms of gold, and the seat 
of purple, Solomon was conveyed to his vineyards and 
pleasure-houses in Antilibanus, surrounded by a retinue 
of 60 men chosen from the body-guard. 6 At solemn 
processions the body-guard carried 500 ornamented 

1 2 Sam. xxiv. 24. 

2 Song of Solomon viii. 11 ; cf. Mover's " Phoenizier," 3, 48 if, 81 ff. 

3 1 Kings x. 14. * 1 Kings ix. 19. 

6 1 Kings x. 21 ; 2 Chron. ix. 20. 6 Song of Solomon iii. 710. 

190 ISEAEL. 

shields : 200 were of pure gold, for each 600 shekels 
were used, 300 of alloyed gold. 1 The number of male 
and female singers, of the servants for the king and 
crowded harem, and the kitchen, must have been very- 
great, as may be inferred from the very considerable 
consumption of food and drink in the palace. From 
the court and from trade such an amount of gold 
flowed to Jerusalem that silver was in consequence 
depreciated. 2 

The new arrangement of state life, which was partly 
established, partly introduced, by Solomon, the lei- 
sure of peace, the close contact with Phoenicia and 
Egypt, the entrance of Israel into extensive trade, the 
increase of prosperity, the richer, more various, and 
more complicated conditions of life, the wider range of 
vision, could not be without their influence on the 
intellectual life of the Israelites. From this time an 
increased activity is displayed. They were impelled 
and forced to observation, comparison and considera- 
tion in quite another manner than before. The results 
of these new reflections grew into fixed rules, into pro- 
verbs and apophthegms. In this intellectual move- 
ment Solomon took a leading part. A man of poetical 
gifts like his father, he composed religious and other 
poems (1005 in number, according to the tradition). 
The impulse to knowledge and the sense of art which 
he excites must first have found room within himself; 
his vision, like his means, reached the furthest. Hence 
we have no reason to doubt that he was one of the 
wisest in his nation. " God," says the Book of Kings, 
"gave Solomon a spirit beyond measure, as the sand 
of the sea. And the wisdom of Solomon was greater 
than the wisdom of all the sons of the East, and the 
wisdom of Egypt. He was wiser than all men, and 
1 1 Kings x. 27. 1 Kings x. 27. 


lie spoke of the trees, from the cedar on Lebanon to 
the hyssop which grows on the wall, and of the cattle 
and the birds, and the worms and the fishes." l 
Beside poetry and extensive knowledge of nature, in 
which he surpassed his wisest countrymen, Ethal 
and Heman, Chalcol and Darda, it was his keen 
observation, his penetrating knowledge of mankind, 
his experience of life which made the greatest impres- 
sion. His proverbs and rules of life seemed to the 
Israelites so pointed and exhaustive that they attri- 
buted to Solomon the entire treasure of their gnomic 
wisdom, which was afterwards collected into one body. 
Among these proverbs scarcely any can with complete 
certainty be ascribed to Solomon, but the fact that 
all are attributed to him is a sufficient proof that 
Solomon possessed a very striking power in keen 
observation of human nature and human affairs, in 
the pregnant expression of practical experience, in 
combining its lessons into pointed and vigorous 

As a proof of his acuteness and the calm penetra- 
tion of his judicial decisions, the people used to narrate 
the story of the two women who once came before 
Solomon into the hall of justice. One said : I and 
that woman lived in one house, and each of us bore a 
male child. In the night the son of this woman died. 
She rose, laid her dead son at my breast, and took my 
living child to her bosom. When I woke I had a 
dead child in my arms ; but in the morning I perceived 
that this child was not the son which I had borne. 
The other woman answered : No ; the living boy is my 
son, and thine is the dead child. The king turned to his 
retinue and said : Cut the living child into two parts, 
and give half to one and half to the other. Then 

1 1 Kings iv. 2934. 

192 ISRAEL. 

tenderness for her child arose in the mother of the 
living child. I pray you, my lord, she said, give her 
the living child, but slay it not. And the king gave 
sentence : This is the mother, give her the child. It 
is further narrated that the fame of Solomon's wisdom 
reached even to distant lands, and kings set forth to 

' O 

hear it. From Arabia the queen of the Sabaeans 
(Sheba, I. 315) is said to have come with a long train 
of camels, carrying spices, gold, and precious stones, 
in order to try Solomon with enigmas. And Solomon 
told her all that she asked, and solved all the enigmas, 
and nothing was hidden from him. When the queen 
perceived such wisdom, and saw the house which he 
had built, and the food on his table, and his counsel- 
lors, and his cup-bearers, and servants, and the burnt 
sacrifice which he offered in the house of Jehovah, 
she sent him 120 Kikkarsof gold, and such an amount 
of spices as never afterwards came to Jerusalem. This 
narrative may not be without some foundation, in fact 
we saw above how old was the trade of Egypt and 
Syria with the land of frankincense. We shall after- 
wards find queens among the Arabians in the eighth 
and seventh centuries B.C. : Zabibieh, Samsieh, and 
Adijah, and even at the head of the tribes of the 
desert. To this day the East preserves the memory 
of the wise king Solomon, who, in their legends and 
stories, has at the same time become a great magician 
and exorcist. 

However great the splendour of Israel in Solomon's 
reign, this advance was not without a darker side. 
The new paths in which Solomon led his people 
brought the Israelites comfort and opulence, the 
advantages and impulses of a higher civilisation and 
more active intellectual life. But with the splendour 
and luxury of the court, and the increasing wealth, 


the old simplicity of manners disappeared. The land 
had to bear the burden of a rule which was completely 
assimilated to the forms of court life, and the mode of 
government established in Egypt and Syria, in Babylon 
and Assyria. The court, the army and the buildings 
required heavy sums and services, and these for the 
most part had to be paid and undertaken by the people. 
Solomon not only imposed on the tribes the mainten- 
ance of his standing troops, the cavalry and the 
chariots, he also demanded that they should support 
the court by contributions in kind. This service was 
not inconsiderable. Each day 30 Kor of fine and 60 
Kor of ordinary meal were required, 10 stalled oxen, 
and 20 oxen from the pasture, and 100 head of small 
cattle. Besides this, deer and fallow-deer, gazelles 
and fed geese were supplied. The assistance which 
Hiram king of Tyre gave to Solomon's buildings, the 
wood from Lebanon, had to be paid for ; each year 
20,000 Kor of wheat and 20,000 Bath of oil and wine 
were sent to Tyre, and this the Israelites had to provide. 
Further, the people had to pay a regular yearly tax in 
money to the king. 1 Still more oppressive was the 
task-work for the buildings of the king. It is true that 
the remnant of the tribes subject to the Israelites, the 
Amorites, Hittites, Hivites and Jebusites, were taken 
chiefly for these tasks, for Solomon had compelled 
them to do constant task- work, 2 but the Israelites 
themselves were also employed in great numbers in the 

1 1 Kings iv. 22, 23, 2628. 

2 1 Kings ix. 20, 21. In order to prove that Solomon used these 
and no others for his workmen, the Chronicles (2, ii. 16, 17) reckon 
this remnant at 153,000 men, i. e. exactly at the number of task work- 
men with their overseers given in the Book of Kings. According to 
this the incredible number of half a million of Canaanites must have 
settled among the Israelites. The general assertion of the Books of 
Kings (1, ix. 22) is supported by the detailed evidence in the same 
books, 1, v. 13 ; xi. 28; xii. 4 ff. 


194 ISKAEL. 

building. Over each tribe of Israel Solomon placed an 
overseer of the task-work, and these overseers were all 
subordinate to Adoniram, the chief task-master. The 
Israelites summoned for these services are said to have 
had two months' rest after one month of work, and there 
was a regular system of release. In the years when 
the buildings were carried on with the greatest vigour, 
80,000 workmen are said to have been engaged in fell- 
ing wood in Lebanon, in quarrying and hewing stones 
under Tyrian artisans, while 70,000 others carried out 
the transport of this material. Though the workmen 
were constantly changed and the extension of the task 
was not unendurable, these burdens were unusual and 
certainly undesirable. In order to introduce regu- 
larity into the payments in kind and the taxes of the 
land, the country was divided into twelve districts, 
no doubt on the basis of the territorial possessions of 
the tribes, and over these royal officers were placed. 
Each district had to provide the requirements of the 
royal house for one month in the year. These over- 
seers of the districts were subordinate to a head over- 
seer, Azariah, the son of that Nathan to whom, next 
to his mother, Solomon owed the throne. 1 Yet in 
spite of all the services of subjects, in spite of all 
means of receipts, Solomon's expenditure was in excess 
of his income. When the settlement with Hiram'fol- 
lowed the completion of the building of the temple and 
palace, it was found that Hiram had still 120 Kikkars 
of gold to receive. As Solomon could not pay the 
sum, he ceded to Tyre twenty Israelite places on the 
border. No doubt the king of Tyre was well pleased to 
complete and round off his territory on the mainland. 2 

1 1 Kings iv. 1115; v. 1318. 

2 1 Kings ix. 10 14. The contradictory statement in Chronicles 
(2, via. 2) cannot be taken into consideration. 


The example of a lavish and luxurious court, the 
spectacle of a crowded harem, the influence and de- 
meanour of these females, was not only injurious to the 
morals of the people, but to their religious conduct. 
If the national elevation of the Israelites under Saul 
and David had forced back the foreign rites which had 
taken a place after the settlement beside the worship of 
Jehovah, it is now the court which adopts the culture 
and manners of the Phenicians and Syrians, and by 
which the worship of strange gods in Israel again be- 
comes prominent. Among the wives of the king many 
were from Sidon, Ammon, Moab and Edom. Solomon 
may have considered it wise to display tolerance towards 
the worship of the tributary nations, but it was going 
far beyond tolerance when the king, who had built 
such a richly-adorned and costly temple to the national 
god of Israel, erected, in order to please these women, 
altars and shrines to Astarte of Sidon, to Camus of the 
Moabites, and Milcom of the Ammonites. 1 

Yet the impulse which Solomon's reign gave to the 
worship of Jehovah was far the most predominant. 
It is true that the idea of raising a splendid temple to 
Jehovah in Jerusalem arose out of the model of the 
temple-service of the Phenicians and Philistines and 
their magnificent rites (I. 367), whereas the Israelites 
hitherto had known nothing but places for sacrifice 
on altars on the heights and under the oaks, nothing 
but a sacred tent. The temple itself was an approxi- 
mation to the worship of the Syrians ; but it was at 
the same time the completion of the work begun by 
David. This building of the temple was the most 

1 1 Kings xi. 49, 33. Though this account belongs to times no 
earlier than the author of Deuteronomy, yet since the destruction of 
these places of worship " set up by Solomon" is expressly mentioned 
under Josiah (2 Kings xxiii. 13), it cannot be doubted. 


196 ISRAEL. 

important of the acts of Solomon during his reign, 
and an undertaking, which in its origin was to some 
degree at variance with national feeling, not only con- 
tributed to the maintenance of the national religion, but 
also had very considerable influence upon its develop- 
ment. Solomon, after his manner, may have had the 
splendour and glory of the structure chiefly in view, 
yet just as the monarchy comprised the political life 
of the nation, so did the specious, magnificent temple 
centralise the religious life of the nation, even more than 
David's sacred tent. By this the old places of sacrifice 
were forced into the shade, and even more rarely visited. 
The building of the temple increased the preponder- 
ance of the sacrifice offered in the metropolis. The 
priests of the altars in the country, who mostly lived 
upon their share in the sacrifices, turned to Jerusalem, 
and took up their dwelling in the city. Here they 
already found the priesthood, which had gathered 
round Abiathar and Zadok (p. 164). The union of a 
large number of priestly families at Jerusalem, under the 
guidance of the high priest appointed already by David, 
caused the feeling and the consciousness of the solid 
community and corporate nature of their order to rise 
in these men, while the priests had previously lived an 
isolated life, at the places of sacrifice among the people, 
and hardly distinguished from them, and thus they were 
led to a far more earnest and systematic performance of 
the sacred worship. It was easy to make use of the 
number of priests already in existence in order to give 
to the rites the richer and more brilliant forms which 
the splendour and dignity of the temple required. For 
this object the arrangements of the sacred service must 
be divided, and the sacred acts allotted to special 
sections of the priests at hand. 


The organisation of the priesthood needed for these 
divisions was naturally brought about by the fact that 
those entrusted with the office of high priest supposed 
themselves to be descendants of Aaron, and that even 
in David's reign these had been joined by the priests 
who claimed to be of the same origin. These families, 
the descendants of Eleazar and Ithamar, retained the 
essential arrangements of the sacrifice and the expia- 
tion, the priesthood in the stricter sense. Even the 
families, who side by side with these are said to have 
belonged to the race of Aaron, which, like Aaron, are 
said to have sprung from the branch of Kohath, were 
not any longer admitted to this service. The priestly 
families of this and other origin, which are first found 
at a later date in Jerusalem, who retained their dwell- 
ing outside Jerusalem, were united with the races of 
Gershom and Merari, and to them, as to the families 
of the race of Kohath which did not come through 
Aaron, were transferred the lesser services in the 
worship and in the very complicated ritual. Those 
men of these races who were acquainted with music 
and singing, together with such musicians as were not 
of priestly blood, were also divided into sections. 
They had to accompany the sacrifice and acts of 
religious worship with sacred songs and the harp. 
Others were made overseers of the sacred vessels and 
the dedicatory offerings, others set apart for the puri- 
fication of the sanctuary and for door-keepers. All 
these services were hereditary in the combinations of 
families allotted to them. This organisation of the 
priesthood cannot have come into existence, as the 
tradition tells us, immediately after the completion of 
the temple ; it can only have taken place as the effects 
of a splendid centre of worship in the metropolis of 

198 ISRAEL. 

the kingdom became more widely felt, and was finally 
brought to completion under the guidance of the 
priests attending on the sacred ark. 1 

Thus there was connected with the building of the 
temple by Solomon, not only the reunion of the families 
of the tribe of Levi if these even previously had formed 
a separate tribe ; by means of adoption from all the 
families which for generations had been dedicated to 
the sacred rites, the formation and separation of the 
priestly order became perfect. 2 At first, without any 
independent position, this order was dependent on the 
protection of the monarchy, which built the temple for 
it, and the importance of the priests was increased with 
the splendour of the worship. At the head of the new 
order stood the priests of the ark of Jehovah, who had 
already, in earlier times, maintained a pre-eminent 
position, which was now increased considerably by the 
reform in the worship. But they also were dependent 
on the court, though they soon came to exercise a 
certain influence upon it. As David had made Zadok 
and Abiathar high priests, so Solomon removed 
Abiathar and transferred the highest priestly office to 
Zadok, of the branch of Eleazar. Far more important 
than the position of the priesthood at the court was 
the feeling and consciousness of the mission given to 

1 1 Chron. xxiv. xxvii. Here, as is usual in the Chronicles, the 
division of the priests is given systematically, and the idea of such a 
division is ascribed to the last years of David. "The Levites were 
numbered according to David's last commands," 1 Chron. xxiv. ; cf. 
cap. xxvii. Throughout the Chronicles make a point of exhibiting 
David as the originator, and Solomon as the executive instrument. 
We must content ourselves with the result that the temple is of decisive 
importance in separating the priests from the people, and for gathering 
together and organising the order. 

2 It appears that the lists of the priestly families were taken down 
in writing when the organisation of the order was concluded: Nehem. 
vii. 64. 


them, of the duties and rights, to which the priesthood 
attained when combined in the new society. As they 
were at pains to practise a worship pleasing to Jehovah, 
they succeeded even before Solomon in discovering an 
established connection between the past and the pre- 
sent of the nation, in recognising the covenant which 
Jehovah had made with his people. From isolated 
records, traditions, and old customs they collected the 
law of ritual in the manner which they considered as 
established from antiquity, the observation of which 
was, from their point of view, the maintenance of the 
covenant into which Israel had entered with his God. 
This was the light in which, even in David's time, the 
fortunes of Israel appeared to the priests, and from 
this point of view they were recorded in the first 
decade of David's reign. The order which the priests 
required for the worship, its unity, centralisation and 
adornment, the exact obedience to the ritual which was 
considered by them true and pleasing to God, the posi- 
tion which the priesthood had now obtained, or claimed, 
appeared to them as already ordained and current in the 
time when Jehovah saved his people with a mighty 
arm, and led them from Egypt to Canaan. They had 
been thrust into the background and forgotten, owing 
to the guilt and backsliding of later times. Now the 
time was come to establish in power the true and 
ancient ordinances of Moses in real earnest, and to 
restore them. It was of striking ethical importance, 
that by these views the present was placed in near 
relation and the closest combination with a sublime 
antiquity, with the foundation of the religious ordi- 
nances. The impulse to religious feeling which arose 
out of these views and efforts found expression in a 
lyrical poetry of penetrating force. David had not 
only attempted simple songs, but also, as we have seen, 

200 ISRAEL. 

more extended invocations of Jehovah ; and the skilled 
musical accompaniment which now came to the aid of 
religious song in the families of the musicians, must 
have contributed to still greater elevation and choice 
of expression. The intensity of religious feeling and 
its expression in sacred songs must also have come into 
contact more especially with that impulse which had 
hitherto been represented in the seers and prophets, 
who believed that they apprehended the will of 
Jehovah in their own breasts, and, in consequence of 
their favoured relation to him, understood his com- 
mands by virtue of internal illumination. All these 
impulses operated beyond the priestly order. In 
union with the lofty spiritual activity of the people, 
they led, in the first instance, to the result that in 
the last years of Solomon the annalistic account of 
the fortunes of the people and the record of the law 
was accompanied by a narrative of greater liveliness, 
of a deeper and clearer view of the divine and human 
nature (I. 386), which at the same time, in the fate 
of Joseph, gave especial prominence to the newly- 
obtained knowledge of Egyptian life, the service 
rendered by the daughter of the king of Egypt to the 
great leader of Israel in the ancient times, the bless- 
ing derived from the friendly relations of Israel and 
Egypt, and the distress brought upon Egypt by the 
breach with Israel. 



OUT of the peculiar relation in which Israel stood from 
all antiquity to his God, out of the protection and 
prosperity which he had granted to the patriarchs 
and their seed, out of the liberation from the oppres- 
sion of the Egyptians, which Jehovah had prepared 
for the Israelites with a strong arm, out of the bestowal 
of Canaan, i. e. the promise of Jehovah to conquer the 
land, which the Israelites had now possessed for 
centuries, there grew up in the circles of the priests, 
from about the time of Samuel, the idea of the covenant 
which Jehovah had made with the patriarchs, and 
through them with Israel. Jehovah had assured 
Israel of his protection and blessing; on the other hand, 
Israel had undertaken to serve him, to obey his com- 
mands, and do his will. If Israel lives according to 
the command of Jehovah, the blessing of his God will 
certainly be his in the future also ; the reward of true 
service will not and cannot be withheld from him. 
The will of Jehovah which Israel has to obey, the law 
of Jehovah which he has to fulfil, was contained in 
the moral precepts, the rules of law, and rubrics for 
purification and sacrifice, the writing down of which in 
the frame-work of a brief account of the fortunes of 
the fathers, the slavery in Egypt, the liberation and 
the conquest of Canaan, on the basis of older sketches 

202 ISRAEL. 

of separate parts, was brought to a conclusion at 
Hebron, in the priestly families of the tribe of Aaron, 
about the first decade of David's reign (I. 385). In 
this writing were laid down the views held by the 
priesthood on the life pleasing to God, on the past of 
the nation and the priests, and of the correct mode of 
worship. It was the ideal picture of conduct in morals, 
law and worship which the priests strove after, which 
must in any case have existed in that great period 
when Jehovah spoke to the Israelites by the mouth of 
Moses. And, as a fact, the foundations of the moral 
law, the fundamental rules of law and customs of 
sacrifice, as we found above (I. 484), do go back to that 
time of powerful movement of the national feeling, of 
lofty exaltation of religious emotion against the dreary 
polytheism of Egypt. 

It is doubtful, whether the families of the priests and 
sacrificial servants who traced back their lineage to Levi, 
the son of Jacob (p. 197), and were now united by David 
and Solomon for service at the sacred tabernacle, for 
sacrifice and attendance at the temple, had of antiquity 
formed a separate tribe, which afterwards became dis- 
persed (I. 488), or if this tribe first was united under 
the impression made by the idea of true priesthood, 
which those writings denoted as an example and 
pattern, and under the influence of the change intro- 
duced by the foundation of a central-point for the 
worship of Israel in the tabernacle of David, and then 
in the temple of Solomon, for the priestly families 
scattered through the land, by means of a gradual 
union of the priestly families ; at all events, a position 
at least equal in dignity to the rest of the tribes ought 
to be found for the tribe of Levi, which knew the will 
and law of Jehovah, and the correct mode of sacrifice. 
It was not indeed possible in Israel to give the first 


and most ancient place to the tribe of the priests, as 
has been done in other nations where a division of 
orders has crystallised into hereditary tribes. In the 
memory of the nation Reuben was the first-born tribe, 
i. e. the complex of the oldest families, the oldest 
element of the nation, and the importance of the 
tribes derived from Joseph and the tribe of Judah in 
and after the conquest of Canaan was so firmly fixed 
that the tribe of Levi could not hope to contend with 
them successfully in the question of antiquity. But 
what was wanting in rank of derivation could be 
made up by special blessings given by Jehovah, and 
by peculiar sanctity. According to an old conception 
the first-born male belonged to Jehovah. In the 
sketch of 'the fortunes of Israel and of the law, 
Jehovah says to Moses, he will accept the tribe of 
Levi in place of the first-born males of the people. 
The number of the first-born males of one month old 
of all the other tribes was taken they reached 22,373 ; 
the number of all the men and boys down to the age 
of one month in the tribe of Levi was 22,000. These 
22,000 Levites Jehovah took in the place of the first- 
born of the people, and the remaining 373 were ran- 
somed from Jehovah at the price of five shekels of 
silver for each person. 1 Thus the Levites were raised 
by Jehovah to be the first-born tribe of Israel. Levi 
was the tribe which Jehovah had selected for his 
service, the chosen tribe of a chosen nation. Moses 
and Aaron were of this tribe, and if, instead of a few 
families who stood beside Moses when he led Israel 
out of Egypt, and restored the worship of the tribal 
deity, the whole tribe of Levi was represented as 
active in his behalf, and as a supporter of Moses, the 
consecration of age was not wanting to this tribe, and 

1 Exod. xiii. 2 ; Numbers iii. 5 51 ; viii. 16. 

204 ISRAEL. 

reverence was naturally paid to it in return for such 
ancient services. 

The Levites were not to busy themselves with care 
for their maintenance, they were not to work for hire, 
or possess any property ; they were to occupy them- 
selves exclusively with their sacred duties. Instead of 
inheritance Jehovah was to be their heritage. 1 It is 
true that the plan for the maintenance of the tribe of 
Levi, sketched in the first text on the occasion of the 
division of Canaan, the 48 cities allotted to them in the 
lands of the other twelve tribes (13 for the priests and 
35 for the assistant Levites 2 ), could never be carried 
out ; yet claims might be founded on it. Moreover, 
the necessary means for support were supplied in 
other ways. The firstlings of corn, fruits, the vintage, 
the olive tree, were offered by being laid on the altar. 
No inconsiderable portion of other offerings was pre- 
sented in the same manner. All these gifts could be 
applied by the priests to their own purposes. 3 But by 
far the most fruitful source of income for the priesthood 
was the tithe of the produce of the fields, which was 
offered according to an ancient custom to Jehovah as 
his share of the harvest. The law required that a 
tenth of corn, and wine, and oils, and of all other 
fruits, and the tenth head of all new-born domestic 
animals, should be given to the priests. 4 The statements 
of the prophets and the evidence of the historical books 
prove that the tithes were offered as a rule, though 
not invariably. As the Levites who were not priests 
had no share in the sacrifices, the law provided that 
the tithe should go to them, but the Levites were in 
turn to restore a tenth part of these tithes to the 
priests. Finally, the law required that a portion of 

1 Numbers xviii. 2026. 2 Vol. i. 488, 502. 

3 Numbers xviii. 820. 4 Levit, xxvii. 2933. 


the booty taken in war should go to the Levites ; 
that in all numberings of the people and levies each 
person should pay a sum to the temple for the ransom 
of his life. 1 

Only the descendants of Aaron could take part 
in the most important parts of the ceremonial of sacri- 
fice. From his twenty-fifth or thirtieth year to his 
fiftieth every Levite was subject to the temple service. 2 
The law prescribed a formal dedication, with purifica- 
tions, expiations, sacrifices, and symbolical actions for 
the exercise of the lower as well as the higher priest- 
hood, for the offering of sacrifice and the sprinkling 
of the blood as well as for the due performance of the 
door-keeping. At the dedication of a priest these 
ceremonies lasted for seven days, but the chief import 
of the ritual was to denote the future priest himself as 
a sacrifice offered to Jehovah. Only those might be 
dedicated who were free from any bodily blemish. 
" A blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, 
or anything superfluous, or a man that is broken- 
footed, or broken-handed, or crook-backt, or a dwarf, 
or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or 
scabbed, or hath his stones broken shall not come nigh 
to offer the offering of the Lord made by fire." 3 

No priest was to make baldness on his head or shave 
off the corners of his beard, or make any cuttings in his 
flesh ; 4 before the sacrifice he might not take wine or 
any intoxicating drink ; he was required to devote 
himself to especial purity and cleanliness, and observe 
in a stricter degree the laws concerning food ; he might 
not marry a widow or a woman divorced from her 
husband, still less a harlot ; he was to avoid most 

1 Genesis xiv. 20; xxviii. 22. 

* Exod. xxx. 1116; xxxviii. 2528. 

3 Levit. xxi. 1621. 4 Levit. xxi. 5. 

206 ISRAEL. '. 

carefully any contact with a corpse : only in the case of 
his nearest relatives was this defilement allowed. The 
clothing of the priests was definitely prescribed. He 
must wear a robe of white linen (byssus), woven in 
one piece ; and this robe was held together by a girdle 
of three colours, red, blue and white. The priest also 
wore a band of white linen round his head, and trousers 
of white linen in order that he might not discover his 
nakedness when he ascended the steps of the altar. 1 

The foremost place among the consecrated priests 
was occupied by the high priest. He alone had the 
right to enter the inner space of the sanctuary, the 
cell in which stood the ark of the covenant the other 
priests could enter the outer space only ; he alone 
could offer sacrifice in the name of the whole people, 
he alone could announce the will and oracle of Jehovah, 
and consecrate the priests. The ritual for the high 
priest was most strict. In the belief of the Hebrews 
the most accurate knowledge and the most careful 
circumspection was needed in order to offer an effective 
sacrifice and avoid arousing the anger of Jehovah by 
some omission in the rite, and if the law required of all 
priests that they should devote themselves to especial 
purity and holiness, this demand was made with 
peculiar severity upon the high priest. He might 
marry only with a pure virgin of the stock of his 
kindred ; he must keep himself so far from all defile- 
ment that he might not touch the corpse even of his 
father and his mother ; he might not, on any occasion, 
rend his garments in sorrow. The distinguishing garb 
of the high priest was a robe of blue linen, which on 
the edge was adorned with pomegranates and bells ; 
the bells were intended, as the law says, to announce 
the coming of the priest to the God who dwelt in the 

1 Exod. xx. 26. 


shrine of the temple, that the priest might not die. 1 
Over this robe the high priest wore a short wrapper, 
the so-called ephod or shoulder-garment, and on his 
breast in front the tablet with the holy Urim and 
Thuminim, by means of which he inquired of Jehovah, 
if the king or any one from the people asked for an 
oracle. The other priests also, at least in more ancient 
times, wore the ephod with the Urim and Thummim; 
but the ephod of the high priest was fastened on the 
shoulders by two precious stones, and the front side of 
his breastplate was made of twelve precious stones set 
in gold, on which were engraved the names of the 
twelve tribes. The head-band of the high priest was 
distinguished from that of the other priests by a plate 
of gold bearing the inscription, " Holy is Jehovah ; " 
he might not even uncover his head. 2 

The mode of worship was regulated by the law in 
a systematic manner. Beside the Sabbath, on keeping 
which the law laid special stress, and regarded it as a 
symbol of the relation of Israel to Jehovah, the Israel- 
ites celebrated feasts at the new moon and the full 
moon, 3 and held three great national festivals in the 
year. These festivals marked in the first instance 
certain divisions of the natural year. Yet the first, 
the festival of spring, had from ancient times a peculiar 
religious significance. It has been remarked above 
that at the spring festival not only were the firstlings 
of the harvest, the first ears of corn, offered to the 
tribal God, but that also, as at the beginning of a 
new season of fertility, a sin offering, the vicarious 
sacrifice of a lamb, was made for the first-born which 

1 Exod. xxviii. 3135 ; xxxix. 2227. 

2 Exod. xxviii. 430, 3643. 

3 1 Sam. xx. 5, 24, 27, and many passages in the prophets ; Numbers 
xxviii. 11 ; xxix. 6 ; Ewald, " Alterthiimer," s. 360. 

208 ISRAEL. 

were not offered. The spring festival was also the 
festival of the sparing of the first-born, the Passah or 
passover of Jehovah (I. 414). The priestly ordinance, 
which sought to give a definite historical cause for 
the customs of the festival, and to mark the favours 
which Jehovah had granted to his people, connects 
the old usages of this festival with the exodus from 
Egypt, and we have already seen how from this point 
of view old ceremonies of this festival were trans- 
formed, and new ones were added (I. 445). As the 
spring festival was kept in the first month of the 
Hebrew year, Nisan (March April) (it began on the 
evening of the day after the new moon, at the rise of 
the full moon, when the sun is in the Ram), the 
exodus from Egypt was supposed to have taken place 
on the morning which followed this night. The 
Passah continued for seven days, in which, from the 
morning of the second day to the evening of the 
seventh, only unleavened bread could be eaten, i. e. 
the firstlings of the corn in their original form, and no 
business could be carried on. On each of the seven 
days of the feast, according to the law, two young bulls, 
a ram and seven yearling lambs were offered as a burnt 
offering for Israel in the temple, and besides these a 
goat, as a sin offering. The neglect of the festival, 
the eating of leavened bread on any of the days, was 
threatened by the law with extirpation from the com- 
munity. 1 As the greater number of the tribes attained 
to a settled life and agriculture, the feast of the ripe 
fruits or harvest naturally rose to importance beside 
this festival of the earliest fruits. Seven full weeks 
after the commencement of the Passah, or six weeks 
after the end of it, the feast of new bread was cele- 
brated. The sheaves were brought, the corn trodden 

1 Exod. xii 1519; Numbers ix. 13; xxviii. 1624. 


out, the first new meal prepared. According to the 
law, each house in Israel, i. e., no doubt, each which 
possessed land and flocks, had to bring two leavened 
firstling loaves of new wheaten meal and two yearling 
lambs as a thank offering. Before these were offered 
no one could eat bread made from the new corn. 1 The 
festival of autumn, which took place in the seventh 
month of the Hebrew year (September October), from 
the fourteenth to the twenty-first day of the month, 
was merrier and of longer duration. It was the 
festival of the completion of the in-gathering, and of 
the vintage, and consequently can hardly go back 
beyond the. time of the settlement in Canaan. 2 It 
was customary to erect arbours of palm leaves, willows, 
and oak branches, as was indeed necessary at a time 
when men were occupied in remote orchards and vine- 
yards, and in these the feast was kept, unless it was 
preferred to keep it at some important place of 
sacrifice, in order to offer the thank offering there, 3 and 
in this case those who came to the feast also passed 
the day in tents or arbours. Like the feast of spring, 
the feast of tabernacles continued for seven days. 
According to the law, Israel was to offer 70 bulls, 14 
rams, and seven times 14 lambs at this festival as a 
burnt offering. To this feast also a historical mean- 
ing was given ; the tabernacles were erected to 
remind Israel of the fact that he had once dwelt in 
tents in the wilderness. 

At these three festivals, " thrice in the year, all 
the males of Israel must appear before Jehovah." 4 
Such was the law of the priests. It was the intention 

1 Levit. xxii. 921. 

2 At the division of the kingdom Jeroboam is said to have changed 
this festival to the fifteenth day of the eighth month ; 1 Kings xii. 33. 

3 E.g. 1 Sam. i. 3 ; 1 Kings xii. 2732. 
* Exod. xxiii. 13; xxxiv. 23. 


210 ISRAEL. 

of the priests that the three great festivals should 
be celebrated at the dwelling of Jehovah, i. e. at 
the tabernacle, and afterwards at the temple ; hence 
at the great festivals the Israelites were to go to 
Jerusalem. But the strict carrying out of such a 
common celebration was opposed to the character 
of the festivals themselves. We saw that even when 
the sacred ark still stood at Shiloh, pilgrimages 
were made thither once a year at the festival of 
Jehovah. After the erection of the tabernacle and the 
temple this, no doubt, took place more frequently, 
and the numbers were greater. Yet the object of the 
priests could not be completely realised. The paschal 
festival was the redemption of the separate house, of 
each individual family. This meaning and object was 
very definitely stamped on the ritual. In a similar 
manner, the feast of the beginning of harvest and 
of the first fruits required celebration at home, on the 
plot of land, and this was still more the case with the 
festival of thanksgiving for the completed harvest. 

Before the people rejoiced in the blessing of the 
completed harvest at the feast of tabernacles, all mis- 
deeds which might have defiled the year to that time 
must be cancelled and removed by a special sacrifice. 
For this object the law on this occasion made a require- 
ment never demanded at any other time. From the 
evening of the ninth to the evening of the tenth day 
there was not only a cessation of business, but a strict 
fast was kept. Every man among the people must 
subject himself to this regulation, and he who trans- 
gressed it was threatened with the loss of bis life. 1 The 
high priest had first to cleanse himself and the other 
priests, and then the dwelling of Jehovah ; for even the 
sanctuary might be defiled by the inadvertence of the 

1 Levit. xxiii. 29. 


priests. When the high priest had bathed he must clothe 
himself in a coat and trousers of white linen, with a 
girdle and head-band of the same material, and offer a 
young bull as a sin offering. Bearing a vessel filled with 
the blood of this victim, and with the censer from the 
altar of incense in the interior of the sanctuary, which 
contained burning coals and frankincense, the high 
priest went alone into the holy of holies, behind the 
curtain before the ark of the covenant. Immediately 
on his entrance the clouds arising from the censer must 
fill the chamber, that the priest might not see the face 
of Jehovah over the cherubs and die. Then the high 
priest sprinkled the blood from the vessel seven times 
towards the ark, and when thus cleansed he turned 
back to the court of the sanctuary, in which two goats 
stood ready for sacrifice. He cast lots which of the 
two should be sacrificed to Jehovah and which to 
Azazel, the evil spirit of the desert. When the lot 
was cast, the high priest laid his hand on the head of 
the goat assigned to Azazel, confessed all the sins arid 
transgressions of Israel on this goat, and laid them on 
his head, in order that he might" carry them into the 
desert-land into which the goat was driven from the 
sanctuary. Then the high priest slew the other goat 
assigned to Jehovah, and, returning into the holy of 
holies, sprinkled with his blood the ark of the coven- 
ant for the second time, in order to purify the people. 
When the altar of incense, in the outer part of the 
sanctuary, had been sprinkled in a similar manner, the 
high priest declared that Jehovah was appeased. 
After a second bath he put on his usual robes, and 
offered three rams as burnt offerings for himself, the 
priesthood, and the nation. 1 

All sacrifices were to be offered at the tabernacle, 

1 Lerit. xvi., xxiii. 2632. 


212 ISRAEL. 

" before the dwelling of Jehovah ; " and afterwards 


in like manner in the temple. The law of the priests 
threatened any one with death who sacrificed else- 
where. 1 The most essential regulations for the offering 
of sacrifice are perhaps the following: Any one who 
intended to bring an offering must purify himself for 
several days. Wild animals could not be offered. In 
the Hebrew conception the sacrifice is the surrender 
of a part of a man's possessions and enjoyments. 
Hence only domestic offerings could be offered, because 
only these are really property. Cattle, sheep, and 
goats were the animals appointed for sacrifice. The 
poorer people were also allowed to offer doves. Each 
victim must be without blemish and healthy, and it 
must not be weakened and desecrated by labour. 
Before the animal was killed the sacrificer laid his 
hand on its head for a time ; then he who offered 
the sacrifice, whether priest or layman, slew the 
victim, but only the priest could receive the warm 
blood in the sacrificial vessel. With this vessel in his 
hand the priest went round the altar and sprinkled 
the feet, the corners, and the sides of it with the 
blood of the victim. In the Hebrew conception the 
life of the victim was in its blood, and thus the sprink- 
lings which were to be made with it form the most 
important part of the holy ceremony. From ancient 
times the burnt offering was the most solemn kind of 
sacrifice. Only male animals, and, as a rule, bulls and 
rams, could be offered as burnt offerings. When they 
had been slain and skinned these offerings were 
entirely burnt in the fire on the altar, without any 
part being enjoyed by the sacrificer or the priest, as 
was the case in other kinds of offerings ; only the skin 
fell to the share of the priests. As the burnt offering 

1 Levit. xyii. 3 5. 


was intended to gain the favour of Jehovah, so were 
the sin offerings intended to appease his anger and 
blot out transgressions. For sin offerings female 
animals were used as a rule, as male animals for the 
burnt offerings, 1 but young bulls and he-goats were 
also offered as expiatory offerings for the whole people, 
and for oversights or transgressions of the priests in 
the ritual, and for sin offerings for princes. In sin 
offerings only certain parts of the entrails were burnt, 
the kidneys, the liver, and other parts ; and in this 
sacrifice the priests sprinkled the blood on the horns 
of the altar ; the flesh which was not burned belonged 
to the priests. In thank offerings and offerings of 
slaughter (so called because in these the slaying and 
eating of the victim was the principal matter) only the 
fat was burnt, the priests kept the breast and the 
right thigh, 2 the rest was eaten by the sacrificer at a 
banquet with the guests whom he had invited ; but 
this banquet must be held at the place of sacrifice, on 
the same or at any rate on the following day. Drink 
offerings consisted of libations of wine, which were 
poured on and round the altar (libations of water 
are also mentioned, though not in the law, p. 115) ; 
the food offerings in fruits, corn, and white meal, which 
the priests threw into the fire of the altar ; in bread and 
cookery, which, drenched with oil and sprinkled with 
salt and incense, was partly burned, and partly fell to 
the lot of the priests. Lastly, the incense offerings 
consisted in the burning of incense, which did not take 
place, like the other sacrifices, on the larger altar in 
the court of the sanctuary, but on the small altar, 
which stood in the space before the holy of holies 
of the tabernacle, and afterwards of the temple. 3 

1 Levit. i. Yi. 2 Levit. vii. 23 34, and in other passages. 

3 Supr. p. 183. 19. 

214 ISRAEL. 

According to the law, a service was to be continu- 
ally going on in the dwelling of Jehovah. The sacred 
fire on the altar in the interior of the tabernacle was 
never to be quenched ; before the holy of holies on 
the sacred table twelve unleavened loaves always lay 
sprinkled with salt and incense, as a symbolical and 
continual offering of the twelve tribes. Each Sabbath 
this bread was renewed, and the loaves when removed 
fell to the priests. Before the curtain of the holy of 
holies the candlestick with seven lamps was always 
burning, and every morning and evening the priests 
of the temple were to offer a male sheep as a 
burnt offering at the dwelling of Jehovah, and two 
sheep on the morning and evening of the Sabbath. 
The high priest had also to make an offering of corn 
every morning and evening. 1 

Beside the sacrifice, the law of the priests required 
the observance of a whole series of regulations for 
purity. It is not merely bodily cleanliness which 
these laws required of the Israelites, nor is it merely a 
natural abhorrence of certain disgusting objects which 
lies at the base of these prescriptions; it is not 
merely that to the simple mind physical and moral 
purity appear identical, that moral evil is conceived 
as a defilement of the body ; nor are these regula- 
tions merely intended to place a certain restriction 
on natural states and impulses. These factors had 
their weight, but beside them all a certain side of 
nature and of the natural life was set apart as im- 
pure and unholy. The laws of purity among the 
Israelites are far less strict and comprehensive than 
those of the Egyptians and the Indians ; but if we 
unite them with the ritual by which transgressions of 

1 Levit. vi. 12, 13; ix. 17. 


these rules were done away and made good, they form 
a system entering somewhat deeply into the life of the 

For the laity also the law required and prescribed 
cleanliness of clothing. Stuffs of two kinds might not 
be worn ; pomegranates must be fixed on the corners 
of the robe. The field and vineyard might not be 
sown with two kinds of seed ; nor could ox and ass be 
yoked together before the plough. 1 Certain animals 
were unclean, and these might not be eaten. The 
clean and permitted food was obtained from oxen, 
sheep, goats, and in wild animals from deer, wild- 
goats, and gazelles, and in fact from all animals which 
ruminate and have cloven feet. Unclean are all flesh- 
eating animals with paws, and more especially the 
camel, the swine, the hare, and the coney. Of fish, 
those only might be eaten which have fins and scales ; 
all fish resembling snakes, like eels, might not be 
eaten. Most water-fowl are unclean ; pigeons and 
quails, on the other hand, were permitted food. All 
creeping things, winged or not, with the exception of 
locusts, are forbidden. 2 Moreover, if the permitted 
animals were not slain in the proper manner their 
flesh was unclean ; if it had " died of itself," or was 
strangled, or torn by wild beasts, 3 the use of the 
blood of the animal was most strictly forbidden, " for 
the life of all flesh is the blood ; " even of the animals 
which might be eaten the blood must be poured on the 
earth and covered with earth. 4 As the eating of for- 


bidden food made a man unclean, so also did all sexual 
functions of man or woman, and all diseases connected 
with these functions, including lying in child-bed. 
Every one was also unclean on whose body was "a 

1 Numbers xv. 38 ; Levit. xix. 19. 2 Levit. xi. 1 44. 

3 Levit. xvii. 15. 4 Levit. xvii. 14. 

216 ISRAEL. 

rising scab or bright spot," but above all the white 
leprosy rendered the sufferer unclean. 1 Finally, any 
contact with the. corpse of man or beast, whether 
intentional or accidental, rendered a man unclean. 
The house in which a man died, with all the utensils, 
was unclean ; any one who touched a grave or a human 
bone was tainted. 2 

The priestly regulations set forth in great detail 
the ceremonies, the washings and sacrifices, by which 
defilements were to be removed. The unclean person 
must avoid the sanctuary, and even society and contact 
with others, till the time of his purification, which in 
serious defilements can only begin after the lapse of a 
certain time. In the more grievous cases ordinary 
water did not suffice for the cleansing, but from the 
ashes of a red cow without blemish, which was slain as 
a sin offering and entirely burnt, the priest prepared 
a special water of purification with cedar wood and 
bunches of hyssop. The reception of healed lepers 
required the most careful preparations and most scru- 
pulous manipulations. 

Among the regulations of purity is reckoned the 
custom of circumcision, which was practised among the 
Israelites, and retained by the law. Yet the reason 
for this peculiar custom, which according to the regula- 
tions of the priests was performed on the eighth day 
after birth, the first day of the second week of life, 3 

1 Levit. xiii., xiv. 

3 The spoils taken in war are also to be purified; Numbers xxxi. 

3 Levit. xii. 3. The Arabian tribes in the north of the peninsula, 
who were nearly related to the Hebrews, observed this custom, and 
the Phenicians also, while the Philistines did not observe it ; Herod. 2, 
104. In Genesis (xxi. 4 ; xvii. 12 14, 25) it is expressly mentioned 
that Ishmael was not circumcised till his thirteenth year, but Isaac was 
circumcised at the proper time, on the eighth day. This shows that 
circumcision was a very ancient custom among the Israelites, and at 


seems to lie in other motives rather than in the desire 
to remove a certain part of the male body which was 
regarded as unclean. We saw above that according 
to the old conception of the Israelites the firstborn 
must be ransomed from Jehovah, that the life of all 
boys, if it was to be secured, must be purchased from 
Jehovah (I. 414, 448). Hence, if we may follow the 
hint of an obscure narrative, it is not improbable that 
circumcision of the reproductive member was a vicarious 
blood-sacrifice for the life of the boy. When Moses 
returned from the land of Midian to Egypt so we 
learn from the Ephraimitic text " Jehovah met him 
in the inn, and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah 
took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, 
and cast it at his feet, and he departed from him." l 
To the Israelites circumcision was a symbol of their 
connection with the nation, of their covenant with 
Jehovah and selection by him. 

The most important part of the purity of the 
people of Jehovah was their maintenance of his wor- 
ship, the strict severance of Israel from the religion of 
their neighbours and community with them. It was 
now seen what influence living and mingling with the 
Canaanites had exercised in the national worship, and 
it was perceived what an attraction the Syrian rites 
had presented for centuries to the nation, and what a 
power they still had upon them. Hence even Moses 
was said to have given the command to destroy the 
altars and images of the Canaanites, to drive out 
all the Canaanites, and make neither covenant nor 

the same time indicates that among the Arabs the boys were not cir- 
cumcised till later years, which may have been the case in the older 
times among the Hebrews also. Of. Joshua v. 1 9; Joseph. " An- 
tiq." 1, 12, 3. 

1 Exod. iv. 24; cf. De Wette-Schrader, " Einleitung," s. 282. 

218 ISRAEL. 

marriage with them. 1 The law forbade sacrifices to 
Moloch under penalty of death ; any one who did so 
was to be stoned. Those who made offerings to other 
gods than Jehovah were to be "accursed" (I. 499). 
Wizards were also to be stoned. 2 " Ye shall not round 
the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the 
corners of thy beard. Ye shall not make any cuttings 
in your flesh for the dead, nor print any mark upon 
you. Do not prostitute thy daughter to cause her to 
play the harlot." 3 All these are commands directed 
against the manners, funeral customs, and religious 
worship of the Canaanites. Strangers were not to be 
received into the community and people of Israel ; 
nor could Israelites contract marriage with women 
who were not Israelites ; it is only the later law which 
allows women captured in war to be taken into the 
marriage bed. 4 These are the " misanthropical " laws 
of the Jews of which Tacitus speaks with such deep 

The law assigned a far-reaching religious influence 
to the priests. They alone could turn the favour of 
Jehovah towards his people by correct and effective 
sacrifices, and appease his wrath ; they announced the 
will of Jehovah by his oracle ; in regard to diseases 
and leprosy, they exercised police functions over the 
whole nation by means of the regulations for cleanli- 
ness and food ; they could exclude any one at their 
discretion from the sacrifices and, consequently, from 
the community ; and, in fine, they were in possession of 
the skill and knowledge with which the people were 
unacquainted. The priesthood arranged the chronology 

1 Numbers xxxiii. 50 56; Exod. xxiii. 29 ff; xxxiv. 12 16; 
Vol. i. 500. 

2 Levit. xviii. 21 ; xx. 2, 27 ; Exod. xxii. 18. 

3 Levit. xix. 2729. * Deut. xxi. 1114; cf. Numbers xii. 1. 


and the festivals, they supervised weights and measures, 1 
they knew the history of the people in past ages, and 
their ancient covenant with the God of the ancestors. 
From their knowledge of the ordinances of Jehovah 
followed the claim which the priests made to watch 
over the application of these ordinances in life, the 
administration of law and justice. But at first this 
claim was put forward modestly. The old regulations 
about the right of blood in the time-honoured observ- 
ances of justice were added to the law of ritual when 
this was written down (I. 385, 484) ; they were modified 
here and there by the views of the priesthood, and in 
some points essentially extended ; and now, like the 
ordinances for the places of sacrifice, mode of worship, 
and purification, they stood opposed in many regulations 
to real life as ideal but hardly practicable standards. 

According to the view of the priests Jehovah was the 
true possessor of the land of Israel. He had given it 
to his people for tenure and use. From this concep- 
tion the law derived very peculiar conclusions, which 
might be of essential advantage for retaining the 
property of the families in their hands, for keeping 
up the family and their possessions, on which the 
Hebrews laid weight, and for proprietors when in 
debt. To aid the debtor against the creditor, the 
poor against the rich, the labourer against him who 
gave the work, the slave against his master, is in 
other ways also the obvious object of the law. 

As all work must cease on the seventh day, the day 
of Jehovah, so must there be a similar cessation in the 
seventh year, which is therefore called the Sabbath 
year. In every seventh year the Israelites were to 
allow the land which Jehovah had let to them to lie 
fallow, in honour of the real owner. In this year the 

1 Levit. xix. 35, 36. 

220 ISRAEL. 

land was not sowed, nor the vine-trees cut, nor the 
wild beast driven from the field, every one must seek 
on the fallow what had grown there without culture. 
If this Sabbath of the seventh year was kept Jehovah 
would send such increase on the preceding sixth year 
that there should be no want. 1 When this period of 
seven fallow years had occurred seven times the circle 
appeared to be complete, and from this point of view 
the law ordained that at such a time everything 
should return to the original position. Hence, when 
the seventh Sabbath year was seven times repeated (in 
the year of Jubilee) not only was agriculture stopped, 
hut all alienated property, with the buildings and 
belongings, went back to the original owner or his 
heirs. 2 The consequence was that properties were 
never really sold, but the use of them was assigned to 
others, and hence, even before the year of Jubilee, the 
owner could redeem his land by paying the value of 
the produce which would be yielded before the year of 

But the priests were far from being able to carry 
out these extended requirements which proceeded from 
the sanctity of the Sabbath, and from the conception 
that the land of Israel belonged to Jehovah, and 
every family held their property from Jehovah him- 
self, and which were intended to make plain the true 
nature of the property of the Israelites. It was an 
ideal picture which they set up, and hardly so much as 
an attempt was made to carry it out. They could 
reckon with more certainty on obedience to a law 
which ordained that no interest was to be taken 
from the poor, and no poor man's mantle was to be 
taken in pledge. 3 Nevertheless, the law of debt was 

1 Exod. xxiii. 10, 11 ; Levit. xxv. 20. 

2 Levit. xxv. 2431. 3 Exod. xxii. 2527 ; Levit. xxv. 3538. 


severe. If the debtor could not pay his debt before a 
fixed time the creditor was allowed to pay himself 
with the moveable and fixed property of the debtor ; 
he could sell his wife and children, and even the 
debtor himself, as slaves, or use him as a slave in his 
own service. 

For the legal process we find in the law no more 
than the regulation " that one witness shall not bear 
evidence against a man for his death," i. e. that one 
witness was not sufficient to establish a serious charge, 
that "injustice shall not be done in judgment, that 
the person of the small shall not be disregarded, nor 
the person of the great honoured ; " " according to 
law thou shalt judge thy neighbour." l For every 
injury done to the person or property of another, the 
guilty shall make reparation. We know already the old 
ordinances which require life for life, eye for eye, and 
tooth for tooth (I. 485). Injury to property and 
possession was to be fully compensated ; even the 
injury done by his beast was to^be compensated by the 
master. Theft was merely punished by restoring four 
or five times the value of the stolen goods. If the 
thief could not pay this compensation he was handed 
over to the injured man as a slave. But any one who 
steals a man in order to keep him as a slave, or to sell 
him, was to be punished with death. 2 If a murder 
was committed, the avenger of blood, i. e. the nearest 
relative and heir of the murdered man, was to pursue 
the murderer and slay him, wherever he met him, as 
soon as it was established by two persons that he was 
really guilty. The law even forbade the avenger of 
blood to accept a ransom instead of taking the life of 
the guilty, because the land was desecrated by the 
blood of the murdered man, " and the land is not 

1 Numbers xxxv. 30 ; Levit. xix. 15. l Exod. xxi. 16. 

222 ISRAEL. 

cleansed from the blood spilt, save by the blood 
of the murderer." An exception was allowed only 
when one man slew another by accident, and with- 
out any fault of his own, and not out of hostility or 
hatred. In this case the slayer was to fly into one 
of the six cities which were marked out as cities of 
refuge. 1 From the elders of the city the pursuing 
avenger of blood was to demand the delivery of the 
slayer, and they were to decide whether the act was 
done from hatred and hostility, or was merely an acci- 
dent. If the elders decided in favour of the first 
alternative, they were to give up the guilty into the 
hands of the avenger of blood, that he might die. In 
the other case, the slayer must remain in the city of 
refuge till the death of the high priest, and the 
avenger was free from the guilt of bloodshed if before 
that time he met him beyond the confines of the city 
of refuge and slew him. 2 The regulations of the 
priests even went so far as to lay down a rule that if 
a savage bull slew a man the bull was not only to be 
stoned, and not eaten as an unclean animal, but his 
master also must die, or at any rate pay a ransom, if 
he knew that the animal was savage, and yet did not 
control him. 3 

Among the people of the East the wealthier men did 
not content themselves with one wife. This custom 
prevailed in Israel also. The law of the priests did 
not oppose a custom which had an example and 
justification in the narratives of the patriarchs. The 
Israelites also followed the general custom of the East, 
in purchasing the wife from her father, and recom- 
pensing the father for the loss of a useful piece of 
property for the two working hands which he lost 

1 Exod. xxi. 12 14; Numbers xxxv. 31 ; Joshua xx. 7 9. 

2 Numbers xxxv. 2528. 3 Exod. xxi. 2836. 


when he gave away his daughter from his house. 
Thus Jacob obtained the daughters of Laban by a 
service of 14 years. The price of a wife purchased 
for marriage from the father seems to have been from 
15 to 50 shekels of silver (36*. to 125s.). 1 The con- 
clusion of the marriage was marked by a special 
festivity, after which the bride was carried by her 
parents into the nuptial chamber. The prostitution of 
maidens in honour of the goddess of birth, so common 
among the neighbouring nations, was strictly for- 
bidden by the book of the law. The daughter of a 
priest who began to prostitute herself was to be burnt 
with fire, because she thus " defiled not herself only, 
but also her father." 2 The man who seduced a virgin 
was compelled to purchase her for his wife, and even 
if her father would not give her to wife he was to 
pay him the usual purchase-money. Adultery was 
punished by the law with even greater severity than 
violations of chastity before marriage. The adulteress, 
together with the man who had seduced her into a 
violation of the marriage bond, were to be put to 
death. 3 If a man suspected his wife of unfaithfulness 
without being able to prove it against her a divine 
judgment was to decide the matter. The priest 
was to lead man and wife before Jehovah. Then 
he was to draw holy water in an earthen pitcher, 
and throw dust swept from the floor of the dwelling 
of Jehovah into this, and say to the woman, " If 
thou hast not offended in secret against thy husband, 
remain unpunished by this water of sorrow, that 
bringeth the curse ; but if thou hast sinned, may this 
water go into thy body and cause thy thighs to rot, 

1 Exod. xxi. 32 ; Hosea iii. 2 ; cf. Deuteron. xxii. 19, 29. 

2 Levit. xix. 29 ; xxi. 9. 3 Levit. xviii. 20 ; xx. 10. 

224 ISRAEL. 

and may Jehovah make thee a curse and an oath 
among thy people." The woman answered, " So be 
it ;" and when the priest had dipped in the water a 
sheet written with the words of this curse, she was 
compelled to drink it. 1 Thus the woman was brought 
to confession, or was freed from the suspicion of her 

Marriages were forbidden not only with strange 
women, but also within certain degrees of relation- 
ship ; in which were included not only those close 
degrees, to which there is a natural abhorrence, but 
also such as did not exclude marriage in other nations. 
In this matter the law of the priests proceeded from 
the sound view that marriage did not belong to a 
natural connection already in existence, but was intended 
to found a new relationship. Not only was marriage 
forbidden with a mother, with any wife or concubine 
of the father, with a sister, a daughter, or grand- 
" daughter, a widowed daughter-in-law ; but also with 

O ' O 

an aunt on the father's or mother's side, with a step- 
sister, or sister by marriage, with a sister-in-law, or 
wife's sister so long as the wife lived. 2 

The husband purchased his wife as a chattel ; hence 
in marriage she continued to live in entire dependence 
beside her husband. The husband could not commit 
adultery as against his wife ; it was the right of 
another husband which was injured by the seduction 
of the wife. It rested with the husband to take as 
many wives as he chose beside his first wife, and as 
many concubines from his handmaids and female 
slaves as seemed good to him. The husband could 
put away his wife if she "found no favour in his 
eyes," while the wife, on her part, could not dissolve 

1 Numbers v. 5 31. l Levit. xviii 


the marriage, or demand a separation; she possessed 
no legal will. Like the wife, the children stood to 
the father in a relation of the most complete de- 
pendence. Nor only did he sell his daughters for 
marriage, he could give them as pledges, or even sell 
them as slaves, but not out of the land ; l and though 
the father was not allowed to sell the son as a slave, 
he could turn him out of his house. Obedience and 
reverence towards parents were impressed strongly on 
children, even in the earliest regulations derived from 
the time of Moses. The son who curses his father or 
mother, or strikes them, must be put to death. 2 The 
first-born son is the heir of the house ; after the death 
of the father he is the head of the family, and succeeds 
to his rights over the younger sons and the females. 
It is not clear whether the law allows any claims to 
the moveable inheritance to any of the sons besides 
the eldest, to whom the immoveable property passed 
absolutely ; the sons of concubines and slaves had no 
right of inheritance if there were sons in existence by 
legitimate marriage. Daughters could only inherit if 
there were no sons. The heiress could not marry 
beyond the tribe, in order that the inheritance might 
at least fall to the lot of a tribesman. If there were 
neither sons nor daughters, the brother of the father 
was the heir, and then the uncles of the father. 3 

The law attempts to fix and ameliorate the position 
of day-labourers and slaves. " The hire of the labourer 
shall not remain with thee till the morrow." 4 The 
number of slaves appears to have been considerable. 
They were partly captives taken in war, and partly 
strangers purchased in the way of trade ; partly He- 

1 Exod. xxi. 7, 8. 2 Exod. xxi. 17; Levit. xx. 9. 

3 Numbers xxxvi. 1 11 ; Tobit vii. 10; Numbers xxvii. 9. 
* Levit. xix. 13. 

VOL. II. * 

226 ISRAEL. 

brews who, when detected in thieving, could not pay 
the compensation, or who could not pay their debts, 
or Hebrew daughters sold by their parents. The 
marriages of slaves increased their number. The law 
required that slaves should rest on the Sabbath day ; 1 
and even the oldest regulations restrict the right of 
the master over the life of his slave by laying down 
the rule that the slave shall be free if his master has 
inflicted a severe wound upon him, and that the master 
must be punished if he has slain his slave. 2 The slave 
who was a born Israelite might be ransomed by his 
kindred, if they could pay the sum required. 3 The 
Hebrew slave was treated by his master as a hired 
labourer, and hind. 4 When the Hebrew slave had 
served six years his master was compelled to set him 
free without ransom in the seventh year. . A Hebrew 
could only remain in slavery for ever when, after six 
years of service, he voluntarily declared that ho wished 
to remain with his master ; then, as a sign that he 
permanently belonged to the house of his master, his 
ear was pierced on the door-post with an awl. 

1 Exod. xx. 10. 2 Exod. xxi. 20, 21, 26; Vol. i. 483. 

3 Levit. xxv. 47 ff. * Levit. xxv. 39 11. 



THE monarchy in Israel was established by the people 
to check the destruction and ruin with which the land 
and population were threatened by the incursions of the 
neighbours on the east, by the dangerous arms of the 
Philistines. The first attempt to set up a monarchy in 
connection with the cities of the land was soon wrecked 
and swept away, without leaving a trace behind. In 
spite of- his support in the wishes of the great majority of 
the Israelites, the monarchy of Saul had not succeeded 
in establishing itself securely by its simple and popular 
conduct. It was not till the monarchy had fortified the 
royal city and palace, established a body-guard and 
standing troops, magistrates and tax-gatherers, and 
had entered into close relation with the priests, that 
it obtained security and permanence. It had indeed 
fulfilled its mission and saved Israel ; it had won 
power, glory, and respect for the nation, and imparted 
to it lofty impulses of the most important kind. It 
had at the same time gone far beyond the intention 
of its foundation. It was now a Sultanate, which, by 
filling the land with Syrian trade and customs, and 
allowing the growth of Syrian modes of worship, 
threatened in one direction the nationality with the 
same dangers which it had removed in another. 

The transformation which the manner of life in 

228 ISRAEL. 

Israel underwent during the reigns of David and 
Solomon was scT thorough that even under David a 
reaction set in. If in the time before David and 
Solomon the Israelites had led an unrestrained life, 
they were now ruled by a severe monarchy. In the 
place of the patriarchal authority of the elders and 
heads of tribes, whose decisions they had formerly 
sought, came the rule of royal officers, who could 
exercise their power capriciously enough. If hitherto 
they had lived unmolested, every man on his own plot, 
beneath his vine and fig tree, they were now compelled 
to pay taxes and do task- work. After the burdens Solo- 
mon had laid upon the people, this reaction must have 
been stronger than at the time when Absalom's rebellion 
shattered the throne of his father. Moreover, Solomon's 
reign, though it lasted full 40 years, did not give the 
same impression of vigorous power as David's strong 
arm had done before him, and the monarchy was not 
so old, nor so firmly established as an institution, that 
the Israelites could not remember the times which 
preceded it. 

No doubt the tribe of Judah could bear the new 
burdens, because it enjoyed the advantages of the 
new polity. The king belonged to this tribe ; the 
temple and metropolis were in its territory. But the 
interests of the other tribes were the more deeply 
injured. Above all, the tribe of Ephraim must have 
felt itself degraded. In this tribe the memory of 
Joshua still lived, the remembrance of the conquest of 
the land ; once it had held the foremost place, and on 
its soil the ark of Jehovah had stood. Now the pre-emi- 
nence was with Judah, the tribe which had long been 
subject to the Philistines ; the sacred ark stood at 
Jerusalem, and the ancient places of sacrifice were 
neglected. Of the feeling of the tribe of Ephraim we 


have indubitable evidence in an attempt at rebellion 
at the beginning of the last decade of the reign of 
Solomon; an attempt, it is true, which was quickly 
suppressed. 1 

When Solomon died, in the year 953 B.C., it was 
not the contests between his sons or the intrigues 
of the harem which now threatened the succession. 
Rehoboam, Solomon's eldest son, who was born to 
him by Naamah the Ammonite, was now in his forty- 
second year, and thus in the vigour of age. This 
vigour he needed. At the news of Solomon's death 
the people gathered to their old place of assembly at 
Shechem. This self-collected assembly showed that 
the majority of Israel were mindful of their right to 
elect the king. The greatest circumspection and tact 
were needed to avert the approaching storm. Reho- 
boam saw that he must not look idly on. He must 
either attempt to disperse the assembled multitude by 
force and maintain the crown by arms, or he must treat 
with it. Hence he set forth to Shechem, accompanied 
by the counsellors of his father. A deputation of the 
people met him, and said, " Thy father made our yoke 
grievous ; now therefore make thou the grievous service 
of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon 
us, lighter, and we will serve thee." Rehoboam 
promised to make an answer on the third day. He 
assembled his counsellors. The old men among them 

1 1 Kings xi. 26 ff place the rebellion of Jeroboam in the time when 
Solomon built Millo (p. 186), and give him asylum with Shishak, 
king of Egypt. Solomon built Millo, the walls of Jerusalem, and the 
fortifications (p. 186) when the building of the palace was finished 
(1 Kings ix. 10, 15, 24). The building of the palace was completed in 
970 B.C. (p. 186) ; hence the building of Millo must have begun 
about this time. It can hardly have lasted more than 10 years. 
Jeroboam's rebellion, therefore, and Shishak's accession are not to be 
placed after, but a little before, 960 B.C. Lepsius puts Shishak's acces- 
sion at 961 B.C. 

230 ISRAEL. 

so all the older text of the Books of Kings tells 
us advised compliance, and recommended him to 
speak kindly to the people ; the younger, who had 
grown up with the new king, and were accustomed 
to flatter him, and desired unrestricted power over the 
people, urged him to reject strongly such claims and 
such rebellion. Rehoboam was foolish enough to 
follow advice which could not but be ruinous. 
Although he can hardly have said to the people the 
words which the Books of Kings put in his mouth 
" My father chastised you with whips, but I will chas- 
tise you with scorpions," he rejected the demand of 
the Israelites. Then a cry arose in the assembly of the 
people, " We have no part in David, nor any inherit- 
ance in the son of Jesse ; to your tents, O Israel ! " 
When it was too late Rehoboam attempted to soothe 
the enraged multitude. He sent his task-master, 
Adoniram, to them, but the people slew the ill-chosen 
messenger by stoning him to death. Nothing 
remained for Rehoboam but to mount his chariot in 
haste and fly to Jerusalem. 

The grievous distress which 100 years before had 
caused the nation at Gilgal to proclaim Saul king 
with one consent, and which after the death of 
Ishbosheth had united the tribes round David at 
Hebron, had long passed away. The danger which 
division had once brought upon Israel had faded into 
the distance, and was forgotten in the security which 
had prevailed in the last generations against the neigh- 
bours on every side. Nothing was thought of but the 
immediate evil and the coming oppression, if the 
monarchy went further on the lines on which it was 
treading. At the time of Solomon an Ephraimite named 
Jeroboam, the son of Nabath (Nebat) of Zereda, who is 
spoken of as " a brave man," was a second overseer 


among the task-labourers. AP. he was skilful in the 
discharge of his duties, Solomon raised him to be the 
overseer of the task-work of his tribe. This office, 
which made him known to all his tribe, Jeroboam must 
have discharged in such a way as to gain the favour 
rather than the aversion of the tribesmen. We are 
told in a few words that " Jeroboam raised his hand 
against Solomon," and that " Solomon sought to slay 
him." Jeroboam escaped to Egypt, and found refuge 
with the Pharaoh Shishak (about 960 B.C.). Immedi- 
ately after Solomon's death Jeroboam received a mes- 
sage from his tribesmen to return. Kehoboam's refusal 
to carry on a milder form of government decided the 
choice of Jeroboam as king. That choice declared suffi- 
ciently the degree of aversion which the multitude bore 
to the house of David and the monarchy at Jerusalem. 
The chief city, the tribe of Judah, the tribe of 
Simeon, so long united in close connection with Judah, 
and a part of the tribe of Benjamin, whose land lay 
immediately at the gates of Jerusalem, remained true 
to the son of Solomon. From the tribe of Judah the 
rise and dominion of David had its commencement ; 
to them that dominion was now returned, and was again 
confined within its early limits. The question was 
whether Rehoboam could achieve what his grandfather 
David had succeeded in doing could regain the 
dominion over the whole land from Judah. Rehoboam 
thought, no doubt, that he could reduce by the power 
of his arms the tribes which had withdrawn them- 
selves from his dominion. He armed and assembled 
the warriors of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. If 
he soon abandoned this intention, the reason hardly 
lies in the warning of the prophet Semaiah, as the 
prophetic revision maintains in a passage interpolated 
into the annals, we are told at the same time that 

232 ISRAEL. 

there had been " a contention between Rehoboam and 
Jeroboam from the first," : but in the fact that a 
mightier enemy came upon Rehoboam. 

From the time when the Hebrews won their abode 
in Canaan, they had not been molested in any way 
from Egypt, where the rulers since the reign of Ramses 
III. rested quietly by the Nile. Solomon, as we saw 
(p. 180), entered into friendly relations with Egypt, 
and even into affinity. But in the later years of his 
reign a new dynasty ascended the throne of Egypt in 
the person of Shishak, which took up a different 
attitude. With him Jeroboam had found refuge 
from the pursuit of Solomon. It was to Jeroboam's 
interest, no less than Shishak's, that this connection 
should continue after Jeroboam became king of Israel. 
It is not improbable that Shishak made war upon 
Rehoboam in order to secure Jeroboam in his new 
dominion. Whether Jeroboam sought the help of 
Egypt or not, why should not Egypt have availed 
herself of the breach in the Israelitish kingdom which 
had reached such a height in Syria under David 
and Solomon, and forced her way even to the borders 
of Egypt ? Why should she not establish the division 
and the weakness of Israel ? At the same time, in 
all probability, a cheap reputation for military valour 
might be obtained, and the treasures of Solomon seized. 
In the year 949 B.C., the fifth year of Rehoboam's reign, 
the Pharaoh invaded Judah. He is said to " have 
come with 1200 chariots, and 60,000 horsemen; and 
the people who accompanied him from Egypt, Libya, 
and Ethiopia were beyond number." Rehoboam could 
not withstand the power of Shishak ; one city after 
another, including Jerusalem, opened her gates to the 
Pharaoh. The glory of Solomon was past and gone. 

1 1 Kings xii. 22 ; xiv. 30. 


Shishak took away the treasures of the temple and 
the royal palace, and the gold shields which Solomon 
had caused to be made for the body-guard. There 
was no thought of a lasting conquest and the sub- 
jugation of Syria ; the object was merely to weaken, 
plunder, and reduce Judah. When this object was 
obtained the Pharaoh turned back to Egypt. On the 
outer walls of the temple of Karnak we may see the 
gigantic form of Shishak, who brandishes the weapon 
of victory over a crowd of conquered enemies; 133 
bearded figures are to be seen, with their hands tied 
behind them, whom Ammon and Mut are leading 
before Shishak. The lower part of these figures is 
covered by the name-shields. They represent the 
places in the kingdom of Judah, which in equal num- 
ber were taken or were taxed by the Pharaoh. Of 
these 133 name-shields about 100 are still legible, but 
few names are found among these which correspond to 
known places in Judaea. We may perhaps recognise 
Jehud, Ajalon, Beth-Horon, G-ibeon, Beeroth, Simmon 
in the north of Judah or in Benjamin ; Engedi and 
Adullam in the east; Lachish, Adoraim, Mareshah, 
Kegilah (Keilah), and some other places in the centre 
of Judah. A.s there is scarcely one among these names 
which can with certainty be apportioned to the king- 
dom of Israel, the conclusion may naturally be drawn 
that the campaign was made with a favourable regard 
to Jeroboam, and was confined to Judah. 1 

1 O. Blau in " Zeitschr. D. M. GK" 10, 233 ff, and below. The shield 
which. Champollion read Judaha Malek is read Jehud by Blau, who 
refers it to Jehud, a place of the Southern Danites. Even the occur- 
rence of names of towns belonging to the kingdom of Ephraim would 
not exclude the possibility that Shishak' s campaign was undertaken 
in favour of Jeroboam. Jeroboam acknowledged the supremacy of 
Egypt in the meaning of the Pharaoh when he called on Egypt for help, 
and therefore, after the manner of Egyptian monuments of victory and 
inscriptions, his cities could be denoted as subject to Egypt. Hence 

234 _ ISRAEL. 

It was a heavy blow which had befallen the little 
kingdom, and, what was still worse, Jeroboam could 
avail himself of it, and the Pharaoh could repeat his 
raid. Kehoboam saw that the only way to increase 
the power of resistance in his kingdom and prevent its 
overthrow was to strengthen the fortifications of the 
metropolis, and change all the larger towns in the land 
into fortresses. He carried this plan out, we are told, 
so far as he could, and provided them with garrisons, 
arms, supplies, and governors. Fifteen of these are 
mentioned in the Chronicles. The dominion over the 
Edomites, whom Saul fought with and David overcame, 
and who attempted in vain to break loose under Solo- 
mon, was maintained by Rehoboam. 

After the brief reign of Abiam, the son of 'Kehoboam 
(932 929 B.C.), Asa, the brother of Abiam, ascended 
the throne of Judah. In his time, according to the 
Chronicles, Serah, the Cushite, invaded Judah with a 
great army, and forced his way as far as Maresa ; but 
in the fifteenth year of his reign Asa defeated the 
Cushites, and sacrificed 700 oxen and 7000 sheep out 
of the booty to Jehovah at Jerusalem. The Books 
of the Kings know nothing but the fact that Asa was 
engaged in constant warfare with Baasha, the second 
successor of Jeroboam, king of Israel (925 901 B.C.). 1 

Maketliu, as Brugscli reads (Gesch. ./Egyptens, s. 661), maybe Megiddo 
or Makedu in the north of Judah ; in the first case the explanation 
given holds good. Jerusalem is not found among the names which 
can be read and interpreted. 

1 Supra, p. 112, note. I have'remarked that assumptions there noticed 
are necessary to bring the Hebrew chronology into harmony with the 
Assyrian monuments and the stone of Mesha. That Ahaziah of Judah 
and Joram of Israel must have been slain, at the latest, in the year 
843 B.C. is a necessary consequence of the fact that Jehu paid tribute 
to the Assyrians as early as the year 842 B.C. In the same way the 
Assyrian monuments prove that Ahab of Israel cannot have died 
before the year 853 B.C. As the Hebrew Scriptures, in the chronology 
of Israel, put Ahaziah with two years, and Joram with twelve years, 


Baasha forced his way as far as Kamah, i. e. within two 
leagues of Jerusalem. This place he took and fortified, 
and was now enabled to press heavily on the metropolis 
of Judah, by checking their trade and cutting off their 
supplies. Asa's military power does not seem to have 
been sufficient to relieve him from this intolerable 
position. He "took all the silver and gold that 
remained in the treasures of the house of Jehovah, and 
in the treasures of the king's house," and sent it to 
Benhadad, who was now king of Damascus in the 
room of Rezon the opponent of Solomon, and urged him 
to break his covenant with Baasha, and make war upon 
him that he might leave Judah at peace. Benhadad 
agreed to his request. He invaded Israel. As Jero- 
boam had summoned Egypt against Judah, Judah was 
now joined by Damascus against Israel. Baasha aban- 
doned his war against Israel, and Asa caused the 
wood and the stones of the fortifications to be hastily 

between Ahab's death, and Jehu's accession, four years must be struck 
out and deducted from the reign of Joram. To maintain the parallelism, 
the same operation must be performed with the contemporary kings of 
Judah., and the reign of Jehoram of Judah (for which, even if we 
retain the data of the Books of Kings, six years remain at the most) 
must be reduced from eight years to four. These four years in each 
kingdom will be best added to the first reigns after the division, to 
Jeroboam (22 + 4 = 26) and Kehoboam (17 + 4 = 21). Twelve years 
must be added to the reign of Omri (p. 114, .). The same augment- 
ation must be made in the corresponding reign of Asa of Judah, or, 
rather, as the chronology of Judah. from Rehoboam to Athaliah gives 
three years less than that from Jeroboam to Jehu, 15 years must bo 
added to Asa instead of 12, so that his reign reaches 41 + 15 = 56, and 
Omri's reign 12 + 12 = 24 years. Hence Eeh.oboam.was succeeded by 
Abiam not in the eighteenth, but in the twenty-second year of Jero- 
boam ; Ahab ascended the throne not in the thirty-sixth, but in the 
fifty-fourth year of Asa. From these assumptions are deduced the 
numbers given in the text. I consider it hopeless to attempt to 
reconcile the divergencies in the comparisons of the two series of kings 
in the Books of Kings; e. g. that Omri should ascend the throne in the 
thirty-first year of Asa, and reign 12 years, while Ahab nevertheless 
ascends the throne in the thirty-eighth year of Asa. 

236 ISRAEL. 

carried away from Ramah, and with this material he 
entrenched Gebah and Mizpeh against Israel. 1 

An addition in the first Book of Kings remarks 
that Asa removed the harlots and the idols out of the 
land, that he threw down the image of Astarte, which 
his mother had set up, and burnt it in the valley of 
the Kidron. 2 This was a healthy reaction against the 
foreign rites which had crept in in the last years of 
Solomon's reign. Asa's son Jehoshaphat (873 848 
B.C.) went further in this direction. The remainder of 
the harlots were removed from the land ; he entered 
into peaceful relations with Israel. The supremacy 
over the Edomites was maintained, and they were 
governed by viceroys of the king of Judah. 3 We 
find that the Edomites sent contingents to him ; and 
his sway extended as far as the north-east point of 
the Red Sea. Here, at Elath, as in Solomon's time, 
great ships were built for the voyage to Ophir. 4 

The ten tribes who had set Jeroboam at their head 
were the mass of the people both in numbers and 
extent of territory. They might hope to carry on the 
kingdom, they preserved the name of Israel ; while in 
the south there was little more than one powerful tribe 
separated from the rest. Shechem, the ancient metro- 
polis of the tribe of Ephraim, the place at which 
the crown was transferred to Jeroboam, was the re- 
sidence of the new king. When Jerusalem was no 
longer the chief metropolis of the kingdom, the temple 
there could not any longer be the place of worship for 
all the tribes. It would be nothing less then recog- 
nising the supremacy of Rehoboam if the tribes con- 
tinued to go up to Jerusalem to the great sacrifices 

1 1 Kings xv. 1624 ; 2 Chron. xvi. 110. 

s 1 Kings xv. 1114; 2 Chron. xiv. 25. 

3 1 Kings xxii. 48 ; 2, viii. 20. * 1 Kings *yji. 49. 


and festivals. The places of worship for the new 
kingdom must be within its own borders. Jeroboam 


consecrated afresh the old place of sacrifice, Bethel, on 
the southern border of the territory of Ephraim, the 
place where Abraham had offered sacrifice, and Jacob 
had rested (I. 390, 408); and on the northern boundaries 
of his kingdom he consecrated the place of sacrifice at 
Dan, which the Danites had once founded on taking 
Laish from the Sidonians (p. 94). At both places he 
set up a golden calf to Jehovah, and instituted priests ; 
and, as we are told, the Israelites came like one man to 
the feasts of Dan, and sacrificed at Bethel, where the 
sanctuary also contained a treasury. Of other actions 
of Jeroboam, we only know that he built, i. e. fortified, 
Peniel in the land beyond Jordan; no doubt in order to 
be able to maintain his supremacy over the Ammonites. 
The severe blow which had fallen on the kingdom of 
Judah by the incursion of Shishak secured him from 
any serious attack on the part of Kehoboam. The 
petty warfare on the borders of Judah and Israel 
naturally did not cease during his reign (p. 231). 

Nadab, the son of Jeroboam (927 925 B.C.), 
marched against the Philistines in order to recover 
from them Gibbethon in the land of the southern 
Danites. Here in the camp at Gibbethon he was slain 
by Baasha, one of the captains of his army, and the 
whole race of Jeroboam was destroyed. Baasha ascend ed 
the throne, which Nadab had held for two years only. 
He took up his abode at^ Tirzah, a pleasantly- 
situated place north of Shechem. 1 The division of the 
kingdom of Israel and its consequent debility could not 
but appear a desirable event to the kingdom of Damas- 
cus, which, though overthrown by David, was restored 
by Rezon in Solomon's time (p. 179.) Attacks of Judah 

1 Song of Solomon vi. 4. 


on Israel could not be supported by Damascus, because 
they might lead to a reunion, and for the same reason 
Israel could not be allowed to subjugate Judah. This 
seems to have been the reason which induced Benha- 
dad of Damascus to accede to the request of Asa, king 
of Judah, when Baasha had entrenched Ramah against 
Jerusalem. Benhadad's invasion of the north of Israel, 
the desolation of the district on the Upper Jordan and 
the lake of Genesareth^gave relief to the oppressed king- 
dom of Judah (p. 235). Baasha's son Elah was slain at 
a banquet at Tirzah, after a short reign (901 899 B.C.), 
by Zimri, one of the captains of his army, who seized 
the crown. But the army of Israel, which was again 
encamped at Gibbethon, on hearing of what had taken 
place at Tirzah, elected Omri, their leader, king. Omri 
broke up the siege of Gibbethon, marched to Tirzah, 
and took the city. Zimri despaired of maintaining him- 
self in the royal castle, and burnt himself in it. Yet 
Omri was not master of Israel. Half of the people 
joined Tibni, the son of Ginath. Omri gradually gained 
the upper hand, till Tibni's death decided the matter 
in his favour. 

With the elevation of Omri (899875 B.C.) a third 
dynasty ascended the throne of Israel, while in Judah 
the crown continued peacefully in the family of David. 
Like Baasha, Omri founded a newresidence; he removed 
his seat from Tirzah to Mount Shomron, and here built 
the new city of that name (Samaria). Nothing is said 
of the wars of Omri against Judah. To Benhadad of 
Damascus he seems to have lost some towns in the land 
of Gilead. 2 That he ruled with address, vigour, and a 
strong hand is clear from the inscription on a monu- 
ment which Mesha,kingof Moab, caused to be erected in 
his city of Dibon (east of the Dead Sea). This tells us 

1 1 Bangs xv. 20. 2 1 Kings xx. 34. 


that Omri and his son after him held Moab in subjec- 
tion for 40 years ; that not only was the city of Nebo 
garrisoned by the Israelites, but Omri even took Meda- 
bah, i. e. the region south of Nebo towards Dibon, and 
occupied it, and " oppressed Moab for a long time," 
because " Camos, the god of the Moabites, was angry 
at his land." 1 As Mesha regained his independence after 
the death of Ahab, the son of Omri, the more severe 
subjection of the Moabites by Omri must have begun 
in the year 893 B.C, Omri seems to have entered ioto 
friendly relations with Ethbaal, king of Tyre (917 
885 B.C.), or his successor Balezor (885 877 B.C.). 2 
Omri's authority and reputation must have been con- 
siderable, since even after the overthrow of his house, 
in the second half of the ninth century B.C., the kings 
of Assyria speak of the king of Israel as " the son of 
Omri, "and the kingdom of Israel as the "house of Omri." 
Ahab, Omri's son (875 853 B.C.), maintained the 
power which his father had won. The Books of Kings 
tell us that Mesha, king of Moab, sent him yearly the 
wool of 100,000 sheep and lambs, 3 and Mesha him- 
self tells us that Omri was followed by his son, who 
also said, " I will oppress Moab ; " and Israel " dwelt at 
Medabah for 40 years in the days of Omri and Ahab." 
That the Ammonites also were subject to Ahab seems 
a just conclusion from the inscriptions of Shalmanesar, 
king of Assyria. 4 With Tyre Ahab was in close con- 
nection. His wife Jezebel was the daughter of Eth- 
baal, king of Tyre, the aunt of Mutton, the contempo- 
rary king of Tyre (p. 208). He was on friendly terms 
with Judah, which began to rise again (as we saw) 

1 Noldeke, " Inschrift des Mesa." 

2 Infra, chap. xi. 3 2 Kings iii. 4. 

4 The inscription of Kurkh enumerates in the army of the Syrians 
at Karkar men from Ammon under Bahsa, the son of Kuchub (Kehob) ; 
Schrader, " Keilinschriften undA. T." s. 95. 

240 ISRAEL. 

under the rule of Jehoshaphat. Jehorain, the son of 
Jehoshaphat, was married to Athaliah, the daughter of 
Ahab and Jezebel. 1 On the vine-clad hills of Jezreel 
Ahab built himself a palace adorned with ivory, after 
the pattern of the Phenician princes. 2 

The rites of the neighbouring tribes, the worship of 
Astarte, Carnos, and Milcom, which found their way 
into the Hebrew tribes, and even to Jerusalem in the 
last years of Solomon's reign, were again removed in 
Judah, as we have seen (p. 235), under the reigns of 
Asa and Jehoshaphat. For Israel the dedication of 
the places of worship at Bethel and Dan to Jehovah, 
which Jeroboam instituted, in spite of the erection 
of the image of Jehovah, marked a reaction against 
the rites of the Canaanites. But the connection 
into which Ahab entered with T}^re brought it about 
that the gods of the Phenicians were again looked 
on with reverence in Israel. Induced by Jezebel, his 
Tyrian wife, so we are told, Ahab caused a temple 
to be erected in Samaria, which his father had built, 
to Baal of Tyre, at which 450 priests maintained the 
worship ; and a temple was also dedicated to Astarte, 
which gave occupation to 400 priests. 3 

It was an ancient custom among the Hebrews, as we 
have already found more than once, to inquire of Jeho- 
vah what should be done. In Israel the custom of thus 
making inquiry was more widely spread than in other 
nations. Before any undertaking inquiry was made of 
his will Jehovah's voice decided the sentence in the 
judgment court. It was usual in all cases and times to 
appeal to the decision of Jehovah. Question and answer 
were made, as has been remarked, by the priests casting 
lots before the sacred ark, the altars, and the images 

1 2 Kings viii. 18. 2 1 Kings xxi. 1 ; xxii. 39 ; 2, ix. 15 ff. 

3 1 Kings xvi. 3133 ; xviii. 19; 2, iii. 2. 


of Jehovah. If a criminal had to be discovered, the 
tribes and races came forward, and he was marked out 
by the lot cast before Jehovah. We saw that Saul 
inquired of Jehovah on his campaign (p. 124). David 
undertook nothing without inquiring of the image of 
Jehovah which he carried about with him (p. 139). 
If any one wished to mark out the wisdom of any 
advice, it was said, " It is as if Jehovah had 
answered." But beside the priests who cast the lots, 
there were men who saw into what was hidden, and 
knew the future. To these soothsayers men went as 
well-as to the lot before Jehovah ; they desired to know 
whether there would be rain or drought, where a lost 
beast was to be found ; they inquired for remedies for 
disease. The soothsayers even pronounced sentences 
at law, and their sentence was then as the sentence of 
Jehovah. It was Jehovah who illuminated such men, 
and imparted to them a keener vision, a higher know- 
ledge. They believed, as the people believed of them 
and the belief was stronger as the religious feeling was 
more intense that they stood in a nearer and closer 
relation to Jehovah. If they also foretold events for 
reward, yet they lived in the belief that they knew 
the will and the counsels of Jehovah, and in this con- 
viction they gave advice and judgment ; they were not 
only soothsayers, but seers. In such a conviction mere 
prediction passed into prophecy, i. e. into the revelation 
of the will of Jehovah by the mental certainty of the 
seer. In this position we found Samuel, who, from 
being a priest, had attained to a knowledge of the will 
of Jehovah ; he was at once priest, soothsayer for hire, 
and prophet ; i. e. he not only announced external 
matters still in the future, but also announced the just 
decision, the resolve pleasing to God. He gathered 
disciples round him, who praised Jehovah with harp 


212 ISRAEL. 

and lute, and waited to see his face, and became 
changed into other men (p. 117). Gad and Nathan, 
with whom David and Solomon took counsel, were 
men of this style and tone. With the loftier impulses 
which the religious life received both on the ritual 
and legal side, as well as on the side of religious 
feeling under David and Solomon, with the survey of 
the fortunes which Jehovah had prepared for his 
people, with the expression of intense devotion in 
that poetry to which David opened the way, the eleva- 
tion of mind in the prophets must have been increased 
and extended ; their views must have become deeper. 
In the kingdom of Israel, so far as our knowledge 
goes, the seers and prophets had made no protest 
against the worship of Jehovah under an image. But 
they came forward with decisive opposition to the 
worship of Baal and Astarte, the strange gods which 
Ahab and Jezebel had introduced into Samaria and 
Israel. Ahab decreed persecution against them, which 
strengthened instead of breaking the intensity of their 
faith, their adhesion and devotion to the God of the 
ancestors. They were driven to live in solitudes, deserts, 
ravines, and caves. On their privations, fasts, and 
lonely contemplations in the silence of the desert fol- 
lowed dreams and ecstatic visions. By these the close 
and favoured relation of the persecuted to the God of 
Israel became an established certainty. The power 
of prediction passed into the background as compared 
with this awakening by Jehovah, and the duty to 
strive, contend, and suffer for the worship of the God 
of the nation against strange gods. If a prophet who 
had lifted up his voice against the sacrifice to Baal was 
compelled to fly before the king into the desert, he 
was followed thither by eager associates, who had at 
heart the worship and service of Jehovah. These 


listened to his words and promptings; these were his dis- 
ciples. The numbers of the awakened and illuminated 
increased ; amid danger and in privation their religious 
life became more earnest ; their zeal for Jehovah and 
their hatred of the strange gods and their worshippers 
became deeper as the persecution fell heavier upon them. 
They became men of word and action. 

Strengthened in this conflict for zealous struggles in 
behalf of the ancient Lord, oppressed and persecuted 
for their faithfulness to the God of Israel, their relation 
to him took the shape of an inward conviction of great 
force and intensity. Filled with their belief and the 
revelations which Jehovah had imparted to them, they 
came forward in the boldest manner to oppose the 
apostate kings ; their zeal for Jehovah rose to the 
wildest fanaticism, which shrunk from no means of 
destroying the servants of the strange gods. To bring 
into light the force of their opposition to the wicked 
kings, and the power which Jehovah gives to his faith- 
ful servants, tradition has adorned with many miracles 
the lives of Elijah and Elisha, the men who in Ahab's 
time transformed the prognostications of the seers into 
a prophetic censure. Elijah is said to have ascended 
to heaven in a chariot of fire, and even the corpse of 
Elisha worked miracles. 

At the urgent request of Jezebel, so we are told, 
Ahab gave orders that the prophets of Jehovah, who 
roused the people against him, should be driven out 
of the land or put to death. 1 Elijah retired from 
Thisbe in Gilead, first to the region of Jordan, and then 
to Zarephath (Sarepta) in the land of the Sidonians ; 2 
and finally he found a place of refuge in the ravines of 
Carmel, on the sea-shore. A girdle of skins surrounded 
his loins, and a mantle of hair covered his shoulders ; 

1 1 Kings xviii. 413, 17 ; xix. 1014. 2 1 Kings xvii. 9, 10. 

K '2 

244 ISRAEL. 

ravens were said to have brought bread and flesh to 
the hungry prophet in the desert. 1 It came to pass 
that there was a long drought in Israel. In this time 
of distress Elijah came forth from his hiding-place to 
point out the anger of Jehovah on the king and the 
people for their worship of Baal, and to proclaim relief 
if they returned to the God of Israel. He requested 
Ahab to gather the people and all the priests of Baal 
and Astarte to Car m el, and there Jehovah would send 
rain. To this request Ahab agreed. " How long will 
ye halt on both knees, and go after Jehovah as well as 
Baal," cried Elijah to the assembled multitude. " I alone 
am left of the prophets of Jehovah, and the prophets 
of Baal are 450 men. Give us then two bulls : one 
to me, and one to the priests of Baal. We will 
cut them in pieces and lay them on the wood, 
and the God who answers with fire shall be our 
God." The priests of Baal slew their bull, laid him 
on the wood, and called on Baal from morning to 
mid-day, and said, O Baal, hear us ! But in vain. 
Meanwhile Elijah, so the narrative continues, built an 
altar of 12 stones, for the 12 tribes, and made a trench 
round it ; cut the bull in pieces, and laid him on the 
wood of the altar, and thrice poured water over all. 
When he called on Jehovah to make it known on 
that day that he was God in Israel, and Elijah was his 
servant fire fell from heaven and consumed the burnt 
offering, and the wood, and the stones, and the altar. 
All the people fell on their faces, and Elijah said, 
Seize the prophets of Baal ; let none of them escape. 
The people fell upon them ; they were brought down 
from the mountain, arid Elijah slew them at the brook 
Kishon. Then a little cloud was seen from Carmel 
rising out of the sea, of the size of a man's hand, and 

1 2 Kings i. 8; 1, xvii. 46. 


Elijah said to the king, " Harness thy chariot and haste 
away, that the rain overtake thee not." The sky was 
quickly covered with black clouds, and heavy rain 
followed upon storms of wind. But Elijah ran before 
Ahab to his palace in Jezreel. 1 Of this narrative, 
which belongs to the prophetic revision of the annals, 
we may perhaps retain with certainty the facts that 
Elijah declared a severe famine and drought in the land 
to be the punishment of Jehovah for the worship of 
Baal ; that the excited people slew the priests of Baal ; 
that Ahab accorded to the prophets of Jehovah per- 
mission to return to their homes and liberty ; and 
that the worship of Jehovah in Israel, which had been 
seriously threatened by those rites, regained the upper 
hand and decided victory, though it could not entirely 
drive out the worship of Baal. 

The increase in the strength of Israel under Omri 
and Ahab, the connection into which Ahab entered 
with Jehoshaphat of Judah, the alliance between 
the two houses, must have appeared to Benhadad 
II., the king of Damascus, a serious matter for his 
own position. For this or for other reasons he broke 
with Ahab, and renewed the struggle which had gone 
on in Omri's time between Israel and Damascus. He 
invaded Israel with all his power : 32 kings were 
with him such is the no doubt greatly exagger- 
ated account. Ahab fell upon the Aramaeans while 
Benhadad was at a banquet, and though his army 
was only 7000 strong, he obtained a great victory. 
Then, as we are told in the prophetic revision of the 
Books of Kings, Benhadad's servants advised him to 
contend with the Israelites on the plain ; their gods 
were gods of the hills, and therefore they had 
gained the victory. Benhadad came in the next year 

1 1 Kings xviii. 1746. 

246 ISRAEL. 

with an army of Aramaeans, which filled the land. 
Nevertheless Ahab again defeated them at Aphek 
(eastward of Lake Merom), and so utterly overthrew 
them that Benhadad sent his servants with sack- 
cloth about their loins, and halters round their heads, 
to Ahab to pray for mercy. This Ahab granted, 
and Benhadad in turn undertook to restore the cities 
which his father had taken from the father of Ahab, 
i. e. from Omri. 

The princes of Syria had every reason to forget their 
hatred and make up their quarrels. Assurbanipal and 
Shalmanesar II., kings of Assyria, had attacked and 
subjugated the districts on the Euphrates, and estab- 
lished fortresses there. The former forced his way as 
far as the Orontes and the Amanus ; the latter had 
already subjugated Cilicia. In the year 854 B.C. 
Shalmanesar II. left Nineveh in the spring, crossed the 
Euphrates, demanded tribute there, and then turned 
towards Damascus. He came upon Benhadad (Bin- 
hidri) of Damascus, to whom Ahab (Achabbu), king of 
Israel, as well as the king of Hamath, and the king of 
Aradus, together with some other Syrian kings, had 
brought up their forces. To the army of the Syrians 
Shalmanesar allowed more than 60,000 men he 
enumerates 12 princes who combined to oppose him. 
Damascus furnished the strongest contingent, viz., 
20,000 men and 1200 chariots; then came Israel, 
with 10,000 men and 200 chariots; and Hamath, with 
10,000 men and 700 chariots. The armies met at 
Karkar. The king of Assyria claims the victory; he 
professes to have captured the chariots and horsemen 
of the Syrians, and to have cut down their leaders. 
According to one inscription 14,000 Syrians, accord- 
ing to two others 20,500, were left on the field. But 
Shalmanesar says nothing of the subjection of the 


princes who fought against him, or of the payment of 
tribute by those who are said to be vanquished, or of 
conquered cities. Hence the truth is that the combined 
forces of the Syrians succeeded in repulsing the attack 
of the Assyrians. This was their victory, though they 
may not have obtained the victory on the field. 1 

1 The objections which have been made against the assumption that 
the king of Damascus and Achabbu, against whom and their confederates 
Shalmanesar fought at Karkar, according to the monument of Kurkh 
(col. 2), were Benhadad II. of Damascus of the Books of Kings and 
Ahab of Israel are untenable. Shalmanesar II. marches four times 
against a king of Damascus; subsequently, four years after his last war 
with this king, he marches against a second king of Damascus, whose 
name in the inscriptions is indubitably Chazailu. In the Books of 
Kings Benhadad, Ahab's contemporary and opponent, is overthrown 
by Hazael, who becomes king of Damascus in Benhadad's place. Thus 
we obtain a certain basis for identifying the Benhadad overthrown 
by Hazael with the prince of Damascus against whom Shalmanesar 
fought four times. Hence on the reading of the name of this opponent 
of Shalmanesar in the inscriptions I cannot place special weight, 
especially as the Assyrian symbol for the deity in the name in 
question is well known to have more than one signification. If a 
further objection is made, that Ahab cannot have combined with 
Damascus against Assyria, but rather with Assyria against Damas- 
cus, in order to get rid of that opponent, the answer is that Ahab 
had reduced Damascus before Shalmanesar's first march against the 
city. Ahab had released Benhadad under a treaty (1 Kings xx. 34), 
and they " were at peace three years " (1 Kings xxii. 3). Hence 
at this moment Ahab was not in need of the assistance of Assyria. 
That free leagues are altogether inconceivable among the Syrian 
princes of that time is an assumption contradicted by numerous state- 
ments in the Egyptian monuments of Tuthmosis III., of Eamses II. 
and III. , and yet more numerous statements in the Assyrian inscrip- 
tions. Not much weight can be allowed to the late and very general 
statements of Nicolaus in Josephus. If Nicolaus (Joseph. " Antiq." 7, 
5, 2) calls the opponent of David Hadad, the Books of Kings do not 
mention the name of the king of Damascus against whom David 
contends. If he maintains that the grandson of Benhadad I., the 
third of the name, desolated Samaria, it is rather Benhadad I. of the 
Books of Kings, who was not the son and grandson of a Benhadad, but 
the son of Tabrimmon, and grandson of Hesjon, who first laid Samaria 
waste (1 Kings xv. 18 20). A second Benhadad contends with 
Ahab, who certainly may have been a grandson of the first, but 
certainly cannot have been the grandson of the opponent of David. If 
Nicolaus further tells us, that after Benhadad I. his descendants ruled 

248 ISRAEL. 

When the danger threatened by the attack of Assyria 
passed away, the contention between Damascus and 
Israel broke out again. The Hebrew Scriptures tell 
us that Benhadad did not keep his promise, and did 
not restore the city of Ramoth in Gilead to Ahab. 
Ahab may have thought that he had the greater 
ground for complaint against Damascus, as he took 
upon himself the severe battle against Assyria, though 
it was Damascus, and not Israel, which stood in the 
direct line of danger. He united with Judah against 
Damascus, and sent a request to Jehoshaphat, king of 
Judah, to march out with him. Jehoshaphat answered, 
" I will go forth as thou goest ; my people as thy 
people ; my horses as thy horses ; " and he came with 
his warriors to Samaria. Both kings sat on their 
seats at the gate, in order to review the army as it 
passed out; and the prophets of Jehovah, 400 in 
number, prophesied good things to them, and said, 
"Go forth against Ramoth in Gilead; Jehovah will 
give it into your hands." One only of these prophets, 
Michaiah, the son of Imlah, prophesied evil ; Ahab, 
we are told, caused him to be thrown into prison till 
he should return in prosperity. 1 A battle took place 
in the neighbourhood of Ramoth in Gilead; Ahab 
was severely wounded by an arrow which passed be- 

for 10 generations, and each of them along with the throne received 
the name of Benhadad, this is contradicted by the Books of Kings, 
not merely in the genealogy of the first Benhadad of those books, but 
also in the fact that in them Benhadad II. , the contemporary of Ahab 
and Jehoram, is overthrown by Hazael, who then in a long reign over 
Damascus inflicts severe injury on Israel and Judah. Hazael is fol- 
lowed in the Books of Bangs by Benhadad III. That ' ' Achabbu from 
the land of Sir'lai " is correctly read in the inscription of Kurkh is an 
ascertained fact. 

1 The prophetic revision explains the overthrow of Ahab by the 
fact that he had spared Benhadad in the previous war, when Jehovah 
had delivered him into his hand. 


tween the joints of his mail ; he caused the wound to be 
bound up, and returned to the fight, in order not to dis- 
courage his warriors, and continued to stand upright 
in his chariot, though his blood flowed to the bottom 
of it, till the evening, when he died. When the 
soldiers heard of the death of the king the army 
dispersed in every direction. Jehoshaphat, king of 
Judah. escaped (853 B.C.). 

The death of such a brave warrior as Ahab was a 
heavy blow r to the kingdom of Israel. We are not 
told by what sacrifices Ahaziah, the son of Ahab and 
Jezebel, had to purchase peace ; we only know that the 
Moabites revolted from Israel on the news of the 
death of Ahab, and that Mesh a no longer paid the 
tribute which he and his father had paid to Omri and 
Ahab. In any case it was a great relief for Israel 
when Shalmanesar, king of Assyria, in the years 851 
and 850 B.C., turned his arms against Hamath and 
Damascus. 1 In this way Ahaziah's younger brother, 
Joram, who succeeded him after a short reign (851 
843 B.C.), was able to attempt to subjugate the Moab- 
ites anew. He called on Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, 
to go out with him, and Jehoshaphat said, " I am as 
thou art ; my horses as thy horses," and raised not 
only the warriors of Judah, but those of Edom also. 
The attack was made from the land of the kingdom 
of Judah and Edom on the southern border of the 
Moabites. The Moabites were defeated, their cities 
destroyed, their fields laid waste, their wells filled up. 
Mesha threw himself into the fortress of Kir Harosheth, 
which is probably the later Kerak, to the south of the 
Arnon, not far from the east shore of the Dead Sea. 
The slingers of both kings surrounded the fortress, and 
cast stones against the walls. " And when the king of 

1 Ninth, and tenth year of Shalmanesar II. 

250 ISRAEL. 

Moab saw that the battle was too strong for him," 
and he had attempted in vain to break out, " he took 
his firstborn son, who would be king in his place, and 
sacrificed him as a burnt offering on the wall. And 
there was a great anger against Israel, and they 
returned from him, and went back into their own 
land" (849 B.C.). 

Notwithstanding this fortunate beginning, the cam- 
paign against Moab, as is allowed even by the Books of 
Kings, was finally wrecked. This termination agrees 
with the statements of Mesha on the monument of 
Dibon. " Forty years," it says, " Israel dwelt in 
Medabah ; Camos gave it back in my days. And 
the king of Israel built Ataroth, and I fought against 
the stronghold and took it, and took all the men 
captive, and brought them as a pleasing spectacle to 
Camos and Moab. And Camos said to me, Go and 
take Nebo from Israel ; and I went in the night and 
fought against it from daybreak to mid-day ; and I 
took it. It was devoted to destruction to Ashtor- 
Camos (I. 373) ; and I took from thence the furniture 
of Jehovah, and dragged them before Camos. And 
the king of Israel built Jahaz, and placed himself 
therein, in his contest against me, and Camos drove 
him out before me. I took from Moab 200 men, all 
the chiefs, and led them out to Jahaz, and took it, in 
order to unite it to Dibon. I built Karho, 1 the gates, 
the towers, and the royal palace. I built Aroer, and 
made the road over the Arnon. I built Beth Bamoth, 
which was destroyed. I built Bazor, and Beth Dib- 
lathaim, and Beth Baal-Meon. And Camos said to 
me, Go down to fight against Horonaim." Here our 
fragments of the inscription break off. We see that 

* According to Noldeke, "Inschrift des Mesa," the upper city of 


Ahab's successors, Ahaziah and Joram, attempted to 
force Moab to submission by planting fortresses in 
the land ; that they attempted to subjugate the 
Moabites from Ataroth, Nebo, and Jahaz. When 
this mode of warfare did not succeed, and the fortresses 
were destroyed, the great campaign was undertaken 
which in the end came to disaster, unless we were to 
place this campaign before the time when Joram built 
those fortresses. 

It was impossible for Joram to entertain any further 
hopes of the subjugation of Moab when Benhadad, 
after escaping from the attack of Shalmanesar, turned 
upon him. The Israelites were unable to keep the 
field, and Joram was shut up in Samaria. The supplies 
failed, and the famine is said to have been so grievous 
in the city that an ass's head sold for 80 shekels, and 
the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung for five shekels, 
and mothers even laid their hands upon their own 
children. But Elisha, the favourite disciple of Elijah, 
is said to have urged them to hold out, and promised 
present help from Jehovah. Suddenly, in a single 
night, the army of the Aramaeans disappeared. They 
feared, so the prophetic revision of the annals relates, 
that the kings of the Hethites and the kings of Egypt 
had set out to the aid of Joram. As Shalmanesar of 
Assyria tells us that he marched in the year 846 B.C. 
with 120,000 men against Benhadad of Damascus 
and Irchulina of Hamath, we may assume that it was 
the approach of the Assyrians which induced Benhadad 
to raise the siege of Samaria, in order to meet the 
Assyrians with all his own forces and those of Hamath. 
Here again Shalraariesar announces a victory obtained 
over Benhadad and Irchulina of Hamath, and twelve 
princes, and again the victory is without results. 

It was not to the power of Shalmanesar, but to 


Elisha, the prophet of Israel, that Benhadad of Damascus 
succumbed. For what reason we know not, Elisha 
left Israel and went to Damascus. Benhadad lay sick. 
He sent his chosen servant Hazael with costly presents 
to Elisha to inquire if he would recover. Elisha 
answered, Say to him, thou shalt recover; but 
Jehovah has shown me that he will die. Hazael 
announced the message, and on the next day smothered 
the king, and placed himself on the throne of Damascus 
(844 B.C.). The new king at once resumed the war 
with Israel, and, as it would appear, not without the 
instigation of Elisha. 1 

Jehoshaphat of Judah had died a few years previously 
(848 B c.). The crown passed to his son Jehoram, the 
brother-in-law of Joram. The Edomites, who had con- 
tinued to follow Jehoshaphat into the field against 
Moab, revolted from him, and slew the Judaeans who had 
settled in Edom, these settlers may have been most 
numerous in the harbour city of Elath, and placed 
themselves under a king. 2 Jehoram attempted to 
reduce them in vain ; the fortune of war was against 
him ; he was surrounded by the Edomites, and 
was compelled to force his way with his chariots of 
war by night through the army of the Edomites. 
The Philistines also pressed upon Jehoram, and carried 
away, even from Jerusalem, captives and precious 
things. 3 Jehoram's reign continued for four years. Yet 
the misfortunes of Judah do not seem to have been 
very heavy. Jehoram's son Ahaziah, the nephew of 
Joram of Israel, who came to the throne in the year 
844 B.C., was soon after his accession in a position to 
aid his uncle against the men of Damascus. Both 

1 1 Kings xix. 15; 2, viii. 715. 

2 Joeliv. 19; Amos i 11, 12. 

2 Chron. xxi. 16 18 ; Amos i. 6 ; cf. infra, p. 260, n. 2. 


kings encamped at Ramoth Gilead, in order to main- 
tain the city against Hazael. 1 In the conflict Joram 
was wounded ; he returned to Jezreel to be healed, 
and soon after Ahaziah left the camp at Ramoth in 
order to visit his uncle in his sickness. 

To Elisha this seemed the most favourable moment 
for overthrowing the king of Israel, and he urged 
Jehu, the foremost captain in the Israelite army, to 
revolt against the wounded king. He sent one of his 
disciples to Ramoth with instructions to pour oil upon 
Jehu, with the words, " Jehovah says, I anoint thee to 
be king over Israel." The chiefs were sitting together 
at Ramoth when the messenger of Elisha entered. " I 
have a message for Jehu," he said ; and poured the oil 
upon him with the words, " Jehovah, the God of Israel, 
anoints thee to be king over his people, and says, thou 
shalt destroy the house of thy master. I will avenge 
the blood of my prophets on Jezebel. The house of 
Ahab shall be destroyed, and I will cut off from 
Ahab what pisseth against the wall, and dogs shall eat 
Jezebel in Jezreel, and none shall bury her." The 
youth had scarcely uttered these words when he 
returned in haste. The chiefs and the servants asked 
in wonder, " Wherefore came this madman ? " But when 
Jehu declared to them what had taken place, they 
hastily took off their mantles, and spread them before 
Jehu's feet ; they blew trumpets and cried, " Jehu is 

Jehu at once set out with a host to Jezreel, that no 
tidings might precede him. The watchmen of the 
tower told the king that a troop was coming in great 
haste, and apparently led by Jehu. Thinking that 
Jehu was bringing news of the army, the wounded 
Joram went to meet him with his guest, Ahaziah, king 

1 2 Kings ix. 14. 

254 ISRAEL. 

of Judah. " Is it peace ? " cried Joram to Jehu. " What 
peace," he replied, " while the whoredoms of thy mother 
Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many ? " In terror 
Joram cried out, " There is treachery, Ahaziah," 
and turned his horses to escape by flight. But Jehu 
smote him with an arrow in the back through the 
shoulders, so that the point reached the heart. Joram 
fell dead from the chariot. Ahaziah escaped. From 
the window of her palace at Jezreel Jezebel saw the 
death of the king, her second son. By this her own 
fate was decided. But her courage failed not. As 
Jehu approached she called to him from the window, 
" Had Zimri peace, who slew his master ? " Jehu 
made no answer, but called out, " Who is on my 
side ? " Two or three eunuchs answered, " We are." 
Then Jehu commanded, " Throw the queen down." 
They threw the widow of Ahab out of the window, so 
that her blood was sprinkled on the wall and oil 
Jehu's horses, and the ruthless murderer drove over 
the corpse. She had survived Ahab ten years. Jehu 
went into the palace, ate and drank, and sent a 
message to the elders of the tribes and the captains of 
the fortresses : " If ye are on my side and obey my 
voice, slay the sons of Ahab who are with you, and 
send their heads to Jezreel." The elders feared the 
murderer to whom Joram and Jezebel had succumbed, 
and did as he bade them. Seventy sons and grand- 
sons of Ahab were slaughtered ; their heads were 
thrown in two heaps before the palace at Jezreel by 
Jehu's orders. Then he spoke in scorn to the people, 
" I have slain one ; but who slew all these ? " Still 
unsatisfied with blood, he caused all the kindred of the 
royal house, all the councillors, friends, and priests of 
Joram to be slain (843 B.C.). 

Jehu had caused the king of Judah to be closely 


pursued on that day. At Jibleam the arrows of the 
pursuers reached Ahaziah ; wounded to the death, he 
came to Megiddo, and there he died. Thus the prospect 
was opened to Jehu of becoming master of the king- 
dom of Judah also. With this object in view, he 
caused the brothers and relatives of the murdered 
Ahaziah to be massacred, so far as he could take 
them ; in all they were 42 men. 1 But meanwhile 
the mother of the murdered Ahaziah, Athaliah, heard 
in Judah of the death of her son in Israel, and seized 
the reins of government there. She determined to 
retain them against every one ; and on her side also 
destroyed all who stood in her way. She did not 
spare even her own grandsons, the sons of Ahaziah ; 
it was with difficulty that the king's sister succeeded 
in saving Joash, the infant son of her brother. 2 

The prophets of Israel took no offence at the cruel- 
ties of Jehu, to which they had given the first impulse ; 
according to the revision of the annals, they even pro- 
claimed to him the word of Jehovah. " Because thou 
hast done what is right and good in my eyes, and hast 
executed upon the house of Ahab all that was in my 
heart, thy descendants shall sit upon the throne of 
Israel." 3 Jehu on his part was no less anxious to show 
his gratitude to the men to whom he owed his exalta- 
tion. He summoned the priests of Baal, and announced 
to them in craft, " Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu 
shall serve him much ; " and caused a great sacrifice to 
be made to Baal ; all who remained absent should not 
live. Thus he collected all the servants and priests of 
Baal in the temple of the god at Samaria. The sacri- 
fice began ; Jehu came in person to take part in the 

1 2 Kings x. 1214. 3 2 Kings xi. 13. 

3 2 Kings x. 30. ' ' To the fourth generation ' ' may have been added 
by the revision post eventum. 

2.56 ISRAEL. 

solemnity ; when on a sudden 80 soldiers entered the 
temple and massacred them all. The two pillars 
before the temple were burnt, the image of Baal was 
thrown down, the temple was destroyed, and the place 
purified. 1 

A hundred and ten years had elapsed since the 
revolt of the ten tribes from the house of David and 
the division of Israel. During this time the two king- 
doms had been at war, and had summoned strangers 
into the land against each other ; even the connec- 
tion into which they had entered in the last thirty 
years, and the close relations existing between Ahab 
and Joram of Israel and Jehoshaphat, Jehoram and 
Ahaziah of Judah had not been able to give more than 
a transitory firmness and solidity to the two kingdoms. 
In the kingdom of Judah the crown continued in the 
house of David; in Israel neither Jeroboam's nor Baasha's 
race had taken root. And now the house of Omri also 
was overthrown and destroyed by a ruthless murderer. 
With Jehu a third warrior had gained the crown of 
Israel by a violent hand, and a fourth dynasty sat 
upon the throne of Jeroboam. 

It wns a favourable circumstance for the new king 
of Israel that Shalmanesar II. of Assyria again made 
war upon Damascus. On the mountains opposite 
to the range of Lebanon, so Shalmanesar tells us, 
he defeated Hazael of the land of Aram, i. e. of 
Damascus, in the year 842 B.C. ; he slew 16,000 of 
his warriors, and took 1121 war-chariots. After this 
he besieged him in Damascus, and destroyed his forti- 
fications. Jehu could hardly think, as Ahab had done 
before him, of joining Damascus in resisting Assyria ; 
his object was rather to establish the throne he had 
usurped by submission to and support from Assyria. 

1 2 Kings x. 1827. 


In this year, as Shalmanesar tells us, he sent tribute 
like Sidon and Tyre. On an obelisk in his palace at 
Chalah, on which Shalmanesar caused the aiinals of his 
victories to be written and a picture to be made of the 
offering of the tribute from five nations, we see him 
standing with two eunuchs behind him, one of whom 
holds an umbrella, while two others lead before him the 
deputies of Jehu. The first Israelite prostrates himself 
and kisses the ground before the feet of Shalmanesar; 
seven other Israelites bring jars with handles, cups, 
sacks, goblets, and staves. They are bearded, with long 
hair, with shoes on their feet, and round caps on their 
heads, the points of which fall slightly backwards. 
The under garment reaches almost to the ancles ; the 
upper garment falls in two parts evenly before and 
behind from the shoulders to the hem of the under 
garment. The inscription underneath runs : " The 
tribute of Jehu (Jahua), the son of Omri (Chumri) : 
bars of gold, bars of silver, cups of gold, ladles and 
goblets of gold, golden pitchers, lead, and spears: 
this I received." l 

Though Jehu submitted to the Assyrians, the power 
and spirit of Hazael was not broken by his defeat or 
by the siege of Damascus. Shalmanesar speaks of a 
new campaign against the cities of Hazael in the year 
839 B.C. He does not tell us that he has reduced 
Damascus, he merely remarks that Sidon, Tyre, and 
Byblus have paid tribute ; and again, under the year 
835 B.C. he merely notes in general terms that he has 
received the tribute of all the princes of the land of 
Chatti (Syria). Hazael remained powerful enough to 
take from Jehu, who, though a bloody and resolute 
murderer, was a bad ruler, all the territory on the east 
of the Jordan which Ahab and Joram had defended 

1 E. Schrader, " Keilinschriften und A. T." s. 105. 


253 ISRAEL. 

with such vigour. 1 Under Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu 
(815798 B.C.), the power of Israel sank lower and 
lower. Hazael, and after him his son, Benhadad III., 
pressed heavily upon him. Jehoahaz was compelled to 
purchase peace by further concessions ; 2 his whole 
fighting force was reduced to 10 chariots of war, 50 
horsemen, and 10,000 foot-soldiers, while Ahab had 
led 200 chariots into the field. 

The devastation caused by Damascus in Israel was 
terrible. The Books of Kings represent Elisha as saying 
to Hazael, " The fortresses of Israel thou shalt set on 
fire, their young men thou shalt slay with the sword, 
their children thou shalt cut in pieces, and rip up their 
women with child ; " 3 and in the prophet Amos we are 
told that the Damascenes had thrashed Israel with 
sledges of iron. In the prophecies of Amos, Jehovah 
says : " Therefore I will send fire into the house of 
Hazael, to consume the palaces of Benhadad, and break 
the bars of Damascus, and destroy the inhabitants of 
the valley of idols." 4 

The Assyrians brought relief to the kingdom of Israel. 
In the Books of the Kings we are told, " Jehovah gave 
Israel a saviour, so that they went out from under the 
hand of the Aramaeans (Syrians), and they dwelt in 
their tents as yesterday and the day before." 5 It 
was Bin-nirar III., king of Asshur, who threatened 
Damascus and Syria. In the year 803 B.C. the canon 
of the Assyrians notices a campaign of this king 
against Syria, and in his inscriptions he mentions that 
he had conquered Mariah, king of Damascus (who 
must have been the successor of Benhadad III.), and 
laid heavy tribute upon him. 6 Though Israel (the 
house of Omri), as well as Sidon, the Philistines, and 

1 2 Kings x. 32. 2 Kings xiii. 25. 

3 2 Kings viii. 12. * Amos i. 3. 

6 2 Kings xiii. 5. See below, p. 32fi. 


Edomites, had now to pay tribute to the conqueror of 
Damascus, yet in the last years of the reign of Jehoa- 
haz the land was able to breathe again, and Joash, the 
grandson of Jehu (798 790 B.C. 1 ), was able to retake 
from the enfeebled Damascus the cities which his 
father had lost, 2 and make the weight of his arms felt 
by the kingdom of Judah. 

In Judah, as has been mentioned, Jehoram's widow, 
Athaliah, the mother of the murdered Ahaziah, had 
seized the throne (843 B.C.). She is the only female 
sovereign in the history of Israel. Athaliah was the 
daughter of Ahab of Israel and Jezebel of Tyre ; like 
her mother, she is said to have favoured the worship 
of Baal. As the prophets of Israel had prepared the 
ruin of the house of Omri in Israel, the high priest of 
the temple at Jerusalem, Jehoiadah, now undertook to 
overthrow the daughter of this house in Judah. Aha- 
ziah 's sister had saved a son of Ahaziah, Joash, while 
still an infant, from his grandmother (p. 255). He 
grew up in concealment in the temple at Jerusalem, 
and was now seven years old. This boy the priest 
determined to place upon the throne. He won the cap- 
tains of the body-guard, showed them the young Joash 
in the temple, and imparted his plan for a revolt. On a 
Sabbath the body-guard and the Levites formed a circle 
in the court of the temple. Jehoiadah brought the boy 
out of the temple and placed the crown upon his head ; 
he was anointed, and the soldiers proclaimed him 
king to the sound of trumpets. The people agreed. 
Athaliah hastened with the cry of treason into the 
temple. But at Jehoiadah's command she was seized 
by the body-guard, taken from the temple precincts, and 

1 Of this date and the time of Amaziah I shall treat in the first 
chapter of Book IV. 
" 2 Kings xiii. 25. 

S 2 

260 ISRAEL. 

slain in the royal palace. Then the boy was brought 
thither by the Levites and solemnly placed upon the 
throne. "And all the people of the land rejoiced, 
and the city was at rest," say the Books of Kings 
(837 B.C.). 

The victory of the priesthood had the same result for 
Judah as the resistance of Elijah and the prophets 
against Ahab, and the overthrow of his house, had intro- 
duced in Israel, i. e. the suppression of the worship of 
Baal. The temple of Baal at Jerusalem was destroyed ; 
the high priest of it, Mathan by name, was slain. 
Yet the number of the worshippers in Jerusalem must 
have been so considerable, and their courage so little 
broken, that it was thought necessary to protect 
the temple of Jehovah by setting a guard to 
prevent their attacks. 1 Jehoiadah continued to act 
as regent for the young king, and the prophecies 
of Joel, which have come down to us from this 
period, 2 prove that under this regency the worship 
of Jehovah became dominant, that the festivals and 
sacrifices were held regularly in the temple at Jeru- 
salem, and that the ordinances of the priests were in 
full force. When Joash became ruler he carried on the 
restoration of the temple, which had fallen into decay, 
even more eagerly than the priesthood. His labours 
were interrupted. It was the time when Israel could 
not defend themselves against Damascus. Marching 

o o 

through Israel, Hazael invaded Judah, and besieged 
Jerusalem. Joash was compelled to ransom himself 
with all that his fathers, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, and 
Ahaziah, had consecrated to Jehovah, and what he 

1 2 Kings xi. 320. 

* They fall about 830 B.C. The minority of the king is clear, and 
the verses iv. 4 ff. points to the incursion of the Philistines into Judah, 
mentioned p. 252. 


himself had dedicated in the temple, and with the 
treasures of the royal palace. 1 

Like his father and his grandmother, Joash died by 
a violent death. Two of his servants murdered him 
(797 B.C.) ; but his son Amaziah kept the throne, and 
caused the murderers of his father to be executed. He 
commenced a war, for what reason we know not, with 
Israel, who was now fighting with success against 
Damascus. Joash of Israel defeated him at Bethshe- 
mesh ; Amaziah was taken prisoner and his army 
dispersed. The king of Israel occupied Jerusalem, 
plundered the temple and the palace, and did not set 
the king of Judah free till the walls of Jerusalem were 
thrown down for a space of 400 cubits from the gate 
of Ephraim, i. e. the western gate of the outer city to 
the corner gate, at the north-west corner of Jerusalem, 
and the Judeeans had given hostages to keep the peace 
for the future. Against the Edomites Amaziah con- 
tended with more success. He defeated them in the 
Valley of Salt ; 10,000 Edomites are said to have been 
left on the field on that day. The result of the victory 
was the renewal of the dependence of Edom on Judah, 
though not as yet throughout the whole extent of 
the land. Amaziah also fell before a conspiracy. It 
was in vain that he escaped from the conspirators 
from Jerusalem to Lachish ; they followed him and 
slew him there. But the people placed his son Uzziah 
(Azariah), though only 16 years old, on the throne of 
Judah (792 B.C.). 2 

1 2 Kings xii. 17, 18. The occurrence is recorded after the twenty- 
third year of Joash, and the twenty-third year was 815 B.C. 

2 The subjugation of Edom can only have taken place after the year 
803 B.C., i. e. after the march of Bin-nirar II. to the sea-coast. Bin- 
nirar enumerates Edom among the tribute-paying tribes of Syria. On 
this and on the date of Uzziah's accession, cf. Book IV. chap. 2. 



THE voyages of the Phenicians on the Mediterra- 
nean; their colonies on the coasts and islands of that 
sea; their settlements in Cyprus, Rhodes, Crete, the 
islands of the ^Egean, Samothrace, and Thasos, on the 
coasts of Hellas, on Malta, Sicily, and Sardinia ; their 
establishments on the northern edge of Africa in the 
course of the thirteenth and twelfth centuries B.C.; their 
discovery of the Atlantic about the year 1 100 B.C., have 
been traced by us already. Of the internal conditions 
and the constitution of the cities whose ships traversed 
the Mediterranean in every direction, and now found 
so many native harbours on the coasts and islands, we 
have hardly any information. We only know that 
monarchy existed from an ancient period in Sidon and 
Tyre, in Byblus, Berytus, and Aradus; and we are 
restricted to the assumption that this monarchy arose 
out of the patriarchal headship of the elders of the 
tribes. These tribes had long ago changed into civic 
communities, and their members must have consisted 
of merchant-lords, ship-owners, and warehousemen, of 
numerous labourers, artisans, sailors, and slaves. The 
accounts of the Hebrews exhibit the cities of the Philis- 
tines, the southern neighbours of the Phenicians on 
the Syrian coast, united by a league in the eleventh 
century B c. The kings of the five cities of the 


Philistines combine for consultation, form binding 
resolutions, and take the field in common. We find 
nothing like this in the cities of the Phenicians. Not 
till a far later date, when the Phenicians had lost their 
independence, were federal forms of government pre- 
valent among them. 

The campaigns of the Pharaohs, Tuthmosis III., 
Sethos, and Eamses II., did not leave the cities of 
the Phenicians untouched (I. 342). After the reign 
of Ramses III., i. e. after the year 1300 B.C., Syria 
was not attacked from the Nile ; but the overthrow 
of the kingdom of the Hittites about this period, and the 
subjugation of the Amorites by the Israelites, forced 
the old population to the coast (about 1250 B.C.). 
One hundred and fifty years later a new opponent 
of Syria showed himself, not from the south, but from 
the east. Tiglath Pilesar I., king of Assyria (1130 
1100 B.C.), forced his way over the Euphrates, and 
reached the great sea of the western land (p. 42). 
His successes in these regions, even if he set foot on 
Lebanon, could at most have reached only the northern 
towns of the Phenicians ; in any case they were of a 
merely transitory nature. 

The oldest city of the Phenicians was Sidon; her 
daughter-city, Tyre, was also founded at a very an- 
cient period. We found that the inscriptions of Sethos 
I. mentioned it among the cities reduced by him. The 
power and importance of Tyre must have gradually 
increased with the beginning of a more lively naviga- 
tion between the cities and the colonies; about the 
year 1100 B.C. her navigation and influence appears 
to have surpassed those of the mother-city. If Old 
Hippo in Africa was founded from Sidon, Tyrian ships 
sailed through the Straits of Gibraltar, discovered the 
land of silver, and founded Gades beyond the pillars. 


Accordingly we also find that Tyre, and not Sidon, was 
mistress of the island of Cyprus. 

According to the statements of the Greeks, a king 
of the name of Sobaal or Sethlon ruled in Sidon at the 
time of the Trojan war, i. e. before the year 1100 B.C. ; x 
about the same time a king of the name of Abelbaal 
reigned in Berytus. 2 From a fragment of Menander 
of Ephesus, preserved to . us by Josephus, it follows 
that after the middle of the eleventh century B.C. 
Abibaal was reigning in Tyre. A sardonyx, now at 
Florence, exhibits a man with a high crown on his 
head and a staff in his hand ; in front of him is a 
star with four rays ; the inscription in old Phenician 
letters runs, " Of Abibaal." Did this stone belong to 
king Abibaal ? 3 

Hiram, the son of this king, ascended the throne of 
Tyre while yet a youth, in 1001 B.C. He is said to 
have again subjugated to his dominion the Kittians, 
i. e. the inhabitants of Citium, or the cities of Cyprus 
generally, who refused to pay tribute. What reasons 
and what views of advantage in trade induced Hiram 
to enter into relations with David in the last years of 
his reign, and unite these relations even more closely 
with Solomon, the successor of David, has been re- 
counted above. It was this understanding which not 
only opened Israel completely to the trade of the 
Phenicians, but also procured to the latter secure and 
new roads through Israel to the Euphrates and Egypt, 
and made it possible for them to discover and use the 
road by sea to South Arabia. Thus, a good century 
after the founding of Gades, the commerce of the 


Phenicians reached the widest extension which it 
ever obtained. We saw that the Phenicians about the 

1 Eustath. ad " Odysseam," 4, 617. * Vol. i. p. 352. 

3 De Luynes, "Essai sur la numismatique des satrapies," p. G9. 


year 990 B.C. went by ship from Elatb past South 
Arabia to the Somali coast, and reached Ophir, i. e. 
apparently the land of the Abhira (i. e. herdsmen) 
on the mouths of the Indus. 1 The other advan- 
tages which accrued to Hiram from his connection 
with Israel were not slight. Solomon paid him, 
as has been said, 20,000 Kor of wheat and 20,000 
Bath of oil yearly for 20 years in return for wood 
and choice quarry stones, and finally, in order to dis- 
charge his debt, had to give up 20 Israelitish towns 
on his borders. 

Hiram had to dispose of very considerable re- 
sources : his receipts must have been far in excess of 
Solomon's. Of the silver of Tarshish which the ships 
brought from Gades to Tyre, of the gold imported by 
the trade to Ophir, of the profits of the maritime trade 
with the land of incense, a considerable percentage must 
have come into the treasury of the king, and he enjoyed 
in addition the payments of Solomon. In any case he 
had at his command means sufficient to enlarge, adorn, 
and fortify his city. Ancient Tyre lay on the sea- 
shore ; with the growth of navigation and trade, the 
population passed over from the actual city to an island 
off the coast, which offered excellent harbours. On a 
rock near this island lay that temple of Baal Melkarth, 
the god of Tyre, to which the priests ascribed a high 
antiquity ; they told Herodotus that it was built in the 
year 2750 B.C. (I. 345). Hiram caused this island to 
be enlarged by moles to the north and west towards 
the mainland, and protected these extensions by bul- 
warks. The circuit of the island was now 22 stades, i. e. 
more than two and a half miles ; the arm of the sea, which 
separates the island from the mainland, now measured 

1 Above, p. 188. 


only 2400 feet (three stades) . l The whole island was sur- 
rounded with strong walls of masonry, which ran out 
sharply into the sea, and were washed by its waves, so 
that no room remained for the besieger to set foot and 
plant his scaling-ladders there. On the side of the 
island towards the mainland, where the docks were, 
these walls were the highest. Alexander of Macedon 
found them 150 feet high. The two harbours lay on the 
eastern side of the island on the north-east and the 
south-east; on the north-east was the Sidonian har- 
bour (which even now is the harbour of Sur) ; and on 
the south-east the Egyptian harbour. If the former 
was secured and closed by huge dams, the latter also 
was not without its protecting works, as huge blocks 
in the sea appear to show, though the dams here were 
no longer in perfect preservation even in Strabo's 
time. On the south shore of the island, eastward of 
the Egyptian harbour, lay the royal citadel ; on the 
north-west side a temple of Baal Samim, the Age- 
norion of the Greeks. The rock which supported the 
temple of Melkarth appears to have been situated 
close to the city on the west. 2 This, like the temple 
of Astarte, was adorned and enlarged or restored by 
Hiram. For the roof he caused cedars of Lebanon to 
be felled. In the ancient shrine of the protecting 
deity of the city, the temple of Melkarth, he dedi- 
cated a great pillar of gold, which Herodotus saw 
there 500 years later beside an erect smaragdus, 

1 Curt. 4, 8. Pliny (" Hist. Nat." 5, 17) puts the distance from the 
mainland at 700 paces (double paces). 

2 On coins of Tyre of a later time we find two rocks, which indicate 
the position of the city. Ezekiel (xxvi. 4, 5) threatens that she shall 
be a naked rock in the sea for the spreading of nets. Joseph, "c. Apion," 
8, 5, 3; Diod. 17, 46; Arrian, 2, 21, 23. Kenan's view (" Mission de 
rhenicie," p. 546 ff.) on the Agenorion has been adopted ; some others 
of his results appear to be uncertain. 


which was so large that it gave light by night. This 
was perhaps a symbol of the light not overcome by 
the darkness. 1 

Hiram died after a reign of 34 years, in the fifty- 
third year of his life. His son Baleazar, who sat on the 
throne for seven years (967 960 B.C.), was succeeded 
by his son Abdastartus (i. e. servant of Astarte), who, 
after a reign of nine years (960 951 B.C.), fell before 
a conspiracy headed by the sons of his nurse. Abdas- 
tartus was murdered, and the eldest of the sons of his 
nurse maintained his dominion over Tyre for 12 years 
(951 939 B.C.). Then the legitimate dynasty returned 
to the throne. Of the brothers of the murdered Abdas- 
tartus, Astartus was the first to reign (939 927 B.C.), 
and after him Astarymus (927 918 B.C.), who was 
murdered by a fourth brother, Pheles. But Pheles 
could not long enjoy the fruits of his crime. He had 
only been eight months on the throne when he was 
slain by the priest of Astarte, Ethbaal (Ithobaal). 
With Pheles the race of Abibaal comes to an end 
(917 B.C.). 

Ethbaal ascended the throne of Tyre, and was able 
to establish himself upon it. He is said to have 
built or fortified Bothrys in Lebanon, perhaps as a 
protection against the growing forces of Damascus. 2 
In Israel, during Ethbaal's reign, as we have seen, 
Omri at the head of the army made himself master of 
the throne in 899 B.C., just as Ethbaal had usurped the 
throne of Tyre. Both were in a similar position. 
Both had to establish their authority and found their 
dynasty. Ethbaal's daughter was married to Ahab, 
the son of Omri. What w T ere the results of this 
connection for Israel and Judah we have seen already. 

1 Vol. i. 367; Menander in Joseph. " c. Apion." 1, 17, 18. 
9 Joseph. "Antiq." 8, 13, 2. 


To what a distance the power of Tyre extended in 
another direction is clear from the fact that Ethbaal 
founded Auza in the interior of Africa, to the south of 
the already ancient colony of Ityke (p. 82). 1 After 
a reign of 32 years Ethbaal was succeeded by his son 
Balezor (885 877 B.c.). 2 After eight years Balezor 
left two sons, Mutton and Sicharbaal, both under age. 
Yet the throne remained in the house of Ethbaal, and 
continued to do so even when Mutton died in the 
year 853 B.C., and again left a son nine years old, 
Pygmalion, and a daughter Elissa, a few years older, 
whom he had married to his brother Sicharbaal, the 
priest of the temple of Melkarth. 3 Mutton had in- 
tended that Elissa and Pygmalion should reign 
together, and thus the power really passed into the 
hands of Sicharbaal, the husband of Elissa. When 
Pygmalion reached his sixteenth year the people trans- 
ferred to him the sovereignty of Tyre, and he put 
Sicharbaal, his uncle, to death, either because he 
feared his influence as the chief priest of the tutelary 
god of the city, or because, as we are told, he coveted 
his treasures (846 B.C.). 4 

Elissa fled from Tyre before her brother, as we 
are told, with others who would not submit to the 
tyranny of Pygmalion. 5 The exiles (we may perhaps 
suppose that they were members of old families, as it 
was apparently the people who had transferred the 

1 Joseph, loc. tit. 

2 In order to bring the reigns of Josephus into harmony with his 
total, the total, which is given twice, must be retained. Hence 
nothing remains but to replace, as Movers has already done, the three 
and six years given by Josephus for Balezor and Mutton by the 
eight and 25 years given by Syncellus. 

3 On the identity of the names Acerbas, Sichaeus, Sicharbas, Sichar- 
baal, Serv. "ad ^neid," 1, 343 ; Movers, "Phoeniz." 2, 1, 355. 

4 Justin, 18, 4. 

* Timaeus, fragm. 23, ed. Miiller; Appian, "Rom. Hist." 8, 1. 


throne to Pygmalion) are said to have first landed at 
Cyprus, then to have sailed to the westward, and to 
have landed on the coast of Africa, in the neighbour- 
hood of Ityke, the old colony of the Phenicians, and 
there to have bought as much land of the Libyans as 
could be covered by the skin of an ox. By dividing 
this into very thin strips they obtained a piece of land 
sufficient to enable them to build a fortress. This new 
dwelling-place, or the city which grew up round this 
fortress, the wanderers called, in reference to their old 
home, Karthada (Karta hadasha), i. e. " the new city," 
the Karchedon of the Greeks, the Carthage of the 
Komans. The legend of the purchase of the soil 
may have arisen from the fact that the settlers for 
a long time paid tribute to the ancient population, the 
Maxyans, for their soil. The ox-hide and all that is 
further told us of the fortunes of Elissa, her resistance 
to the suit of the Libyan prince larbas, 1 her self- 
immolation in order to escape from this suit (Virgil 
made despised love the motive for this immolation), is 
due to the transference of certain traits from the 
myths of the horned moon-goddess, to whom the cow 
is sacred, the wandering Astarte, who also bore the 
name of Dido, and of certain customs in the worship 
of the goddess to Carthage ; these also have had in- 
fluence on the narrative of the flight of Elissa. 2 

The new settlement was intended to become an 
important centre for the colonies of the Phenicians 
in the West. The situation was peculiarly fortunate. 
Where the north coast of Africa approaches Sicily 
most nearly, the mountain range which runs along this 
coast, and forms the edge of the table-land in the 
interior, sinks down in gentle declivities, which thus 

1 Timaeus, fragm. 23, ed. Miiller. 

Vol. i. 371 ; Movers, "Phoeniz." 1, 609 ft. 


form water-courses of considerable length, to a fer- 
tile hill country still covered with olive-gardens and 
orange-forests. From the north the sea penetrates 
deeply into the land between the " beautiful promon- 
tory " (Has Sidi Ali) and the promontory of Hermes 
(Ras Addar). On the western side of this bay a ridge 
of land runs out, which possesses excellent springs of 
water. Not far from the shore a rock rises steeply to 
the height of about 200 feet. On this was planted 
the new citadel, Byrsa, on which the wanderers 
erected a temple to their god Esmun (I. 377). This 
citadel, which is said to have been about 2000 paces 
(double paces) in the circuit, 1 was also the city round 
which at a later time grew up the lower city, at first 
on the south-east toward the shore, and then on the 
north-west toward the sea. The harbour lay to the 
south-east, under the citadel. Some miles to the north 
of the new settlement, on the mouth of the Bagradas 
(Medsherda), at the north-west corner of the bay, was 
Ityke, the ancient colony of the Phenicians, which had 
been in existence for more than two centuries when 
the new settlers landed on the shore of the bay ; and 
not far to the south on the shore was Adrymes 
(Hadrumetum), another city of their countrymen, 
which Sallust mentions among the oldest colonies of 
the Phenicians. 2 The Carthaginians never forgot their 
affection for the ancient Ityke, by whose assistance, no 
doubt, their own settlement had been supported. 3 

1 Oros. 4, 22 ; Strabo, p. 832. 2 Sail. "Jug." 19. 

3 The various statements about the year of the foundation of Car- 
thage are collected in Miiller, " Geograph. Grseci min.'' 1, xix. It is 
impossible to fix the foundation more accurately than about the middle 
of the ninth century B.C. We may place it in the year 846 B.C. if we 
rest on the 143f years of Josephus from the building of the temple 
(according to our own date 990 B.C.), and the round sum given by 
Appian that 700 years elapsed from the founding by Dido to the 
destruction of the city ; " Rom. Hist." 8, 132. 


The fragment which Josephus has preserved from 
the annals of the kings of Tyre ends with the acces- 
sion of Pygmalion and the flight of Elissa. More 
than two centuries had passed since the campaign 
of Tiglath Pilesar I. to the Mediterranean, during 
which the cities of the Phenicians had suffered nothing 


from the arms and expeditions of the Assyrians. But 
when Balezor and Mutton, the son and grandson of 
Ethbaal, ruled over Tyre (885 853 B.C.), Assurbanipal 
of Assyria (883 859 B.C.) began to force his way to the 
west over the Euphrates. When he had reduced the 
sovereign of Karchemish to obedience by repeated 
campaigns, and had built fortresses on both banks of 
the Euphrates, he advanced in the year 876 B.C. to the 
Orontes, captured the marches of Lebanus (Labnana), 
and received tribute from the king of Tyre, i. e. from 
Mutton, from the kings of Sidon, of Byblus, and Aradus. 
According to the inscriptions, the tribute consisted of 
bars of silver, gold, and lead. Assurbanipal's successor, 
Shalmanesar II. of Assyria (859 823 B.C.), pushed on 
even more energetically to the west. After forcing 
Cilicia to submit, he attacked Hamath, and in the 
year 854, as we have seen, he defeated at Karkar the 
united kings of Hamath, Damascus, and Israel, who 
were also joined by Matinbaal, the king of Aradus. 
But Shalmanesar was compelled to undertake three 
other campaigns to Damascus (850, 849, and 846 B.C.) 
before he succeeded, in the year 842 B.C., in making 
Damascus tributary. As has been remarked, Israel 
did not any longer attempt the decision of arms, 
and sought to gain the favour of Assyria-; like Tyre 
and Sidon, Jehu sent tribute to Shalmanesar. This 
payment of tribute was repeated perforce by Tyre, 
Sidon, and Byblus, in the years 839 and 835 B.C., in 
which Shalmanesar 's armies again appeared in Syria. 


Moreover, the inscriptions of Bin-nirar, king of Assyria 
(810 781 B.C.), tell us that Damascus, Tyre, Sidon, 
Israel, Edom, and the land of the Philistines had paid 
him tribute. It is obvious that the cities of the 
Phenicians would have been as a rule most willing to 
pay it. When Assyria had definitely extended her 
dominion as far as the Euphrates, it was in the power 
of the Assyrian king to stop the way for the merchants 
of those cities to Mesopotamia and Babylon, and thus 
to inflict very considerable damage on the trade of the 
Phenicians, which was for the most part a carrying 
trade between the East and West. What were the 
sums paid in tribute, even if considerable, when 
compared with such serious disadvantages ? 

Hitherto we have been able to observe monarchy in 
the patriarchal form of the head of the tribe, in the 
god-like position of the Pharaohs of Egypt, in the 
forms of a military principate, who ruled with despotic 
power over wide kingdoms, or in diminished copies of 
this original. It would be interesting to trace out 
and ascertain the changes which it had now to undergo 
at the head of powerful trading and commercial cities 
such as the Phenicians were. We have already seen 
that the principate of these cities was of great anti- 
quity, that it remained in existence through all the 
periods of Phenician history, that it was rooted deeply 
enough to outlive even the independence of the cities. 
All more detailed accounts are wanting, and even induc- 
tions or comparisons with the constitution of Carthage 
in later times carry us little further. Not to mention the 
very insufficient accounts which we possess of this con- 
stitution, it was only to the oldest settlements of the 
Phenicians in Cyprus that the monarchy passed, at 
least it was only in these that it was able to maintain 
itself. The examination of these institutions of Carthage 


is adapted to show us in contrast on the one hand to 
the tribal princes of the Arabians, and on the other to 
the monarchy of Elam, Babel, and Asshur what 
forms the feeling and character of a Semitic com- 
munity, in which the burghers had reached the full 
development of their powers, were able to give to their 
state, which at the same time was supreme over a wide 
region ; but for the constitution of the Phenician 
cities scarcely any conclusions can be drawn from 

Of the internal condition of the Phenician cities, the 
fragment of the history of Tyre in Josephus only 
enables us to ascertain that there was no lack of strife 
and bloodshed in the palaces of the kings, and that 
the priests of the tutelary deity must have been of 
importance and influence beside the king. But it fol- 
lows from the nature of things that these city-kings 
could not have held sway with the same complete 
power as the military princes of the great kingdoms of 
the East. The development of independence among the 
burghers must have placed far closer limitations upon 
the will of the kings in these cities than was the case 
elsewhere in the East. The more lively the trade and 
industry of the cities, the more strongly must the 
great merchants and manufacturers have maintained 
against the kings the consideration and advancement 
of their own interests. For the maintenance of order 
and peace, of law and property in the cities they 
looked to the king, but they had also to make import- 
ant demands before the throne, and were combined 
against it by community of interests. They were 
compelled to advance these independently if the 
king refused his consent. Isaiah tells us that the 
merchants of Tyre were princes. Ezekiel speaks of 
the grey-haired men, the " elders " of the city of 



Byblus. 1 Of the later period we know with greater 
certainty that there was a council beside the kings, 
the membership in which may have belonged primarily 
to the chiefs of the old families, but also in part to the 
hereditary priests. Inscriptions of the cities belong- 
ing to Grecian times present the title " elders." 2 The 
families in the Phenician cities which could carry back 
their genealogy to the forefathers of the tribes which 
possessed land and influence before the fall of the Hit- 
tites, the incursions of the Hebrews, and the spread of 
trade had brought a mass of strangers into the city walls, 
would appear to have had the first claim to a share in 
the government ; the heads of these families may at 
first have formed the council which stood beside the 
king. Yet it lies in the nature of great manufacturing 
and trading cities that the management of interests of 
this kind cannot be confined to the elders of the family 
or remain among the privileges of birth. Hence we 
may assume that the great trading firms and mer- 
chants could not long be excluded from these councils. 
In the fourth century B.C. the council of Sidon seems 
to have consisted of 500 or 600 elders. 3 Owing to 
the treasures of East and West which poured together 
into the cities of the Phenicians, life became luxurious 
within their walls. Men's efforts were directed to gain 
and acquisition ; the merchants would naturally desire 
to enjoy their wealth. The lower classes of the closely- 
compressed population no doubt followed the example 
set them by the higher. From the multitude of retail 
dealers and artizans, the number of pilots and mariners 
who returned home eager for enjoyment after long 
voyages, men whose passions would be unbridled, a 

1 Ezekiel xxvii. 9. 

2 Renan, " Mission de Ph6nicie," p. 199. 

3 Diod. 16, 41, 45 ; fragm. 23, ed. Bipont ; cf. Justin, 18, 6. 


turbulent population must have grown up, in spite of 
the numerous colonies into which the ambitious as 
well as the poor might emigrate or be sent with the 
certain prospect of a better position. We saw above 
that the people of Tyre are said to transferred 
the rule to Pygmalion. For the later period it is certain 
that even the people had a share in the government. 1 

The hereditary monarchy passed, so far as we can 
see, from the mother-cities to the oldest colonies only, 
i. e. the cities in Cyprus. In the other colonies the chief 
officers were magistrates, usually two in number. 2 
They were called Sufetes, i. e. judges. In Carthage 
these two yearly officers, in whose hands lay the 
supreme administration of justice, and the executive, 
formed with 30 elders the governing body of the city. 
It seems that these 30 men were the representatives 
of as many original combinations of families into 
which the old -houses of the city were incorporated. 
The connection of the colonies and mother-cities, both 
in general and more especially where the colony could 
dispense with the protection of the mother-city, were 
far more mercantile and religious than political. The 
colonies worshipped the deities of the mother-cities, 
and gave them a share in their booty. We also find 
that descendants of priests who had emigrated from 
the mother-city stood at the head of the temples of 
the colonies. In Carthage, where the priests of 
Melkarth wore the purple robe, the office was hered- 
itary in the family of Bithyas, who is said to have left 
Tyre with Elissa. 3 

We are acquainted with the gods of the Phenician 
cities, and the mode in which they worshipped them ; 

1 Joseph. "Antiq." 14, 12,4, 5; Curt. 4, 15. 

2 Liv. 28, 37; Movers, "PhxenLz." 2, 1, 490 ff, 529 ff. 

3 Servius, " ad .ffineid." 1, 738. 

T 2 


with El and Baal-Samim, Baal-Melkarth and Baal- 
Moloch, Adonis, Astarte and Ashera, with the rites 
of continence and mutilation, of sensual excess and 
prostitution, of sacrifice and fire-festival, which were 
intended to win their favour and grace. We observed 
that the protecting deities of the separate states had 
even before the days of Hiram been united in the 
system of the seven great gods, the Cabiri, at whose 
head was placed an eighth, Esmun, the supreme deity. 
We saw that in this system special meanings were 
ascribed to them in reference to the protection of 
peace and law, of industry and navigation ; and we 
cannot doubt that with the riches which accumulated 
in the walls of the cities, with the luxury of life which 
these riches permitted, the lascivious and sensual side 
of the worship must have increased and extended. 

The life led by the kings of the old Phenician cities 
is described as rich and splendid. We have already 
assumed that the princes of the Phenician cities had a 
rich share in the returns of trade, and indeed the fact 
can be proved from the Hebrew Scriptures for Hiram, 
king of Tyre. Ezekiel tells us, " The king of Tyre sits 
like a god in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas ; 
he dwells as in Eden, in the garden of God. Precious 
stones are the covering of his palaces : the ruby, the 
topaz, the diamond, the chrysolite, the onyx, and the 
jasper, the sapphire, the carbuncle, the emerald, and 
gold ; the workmanship of his ring-cases he bears upon 
him." l " His garments," we are told in a song of the 
Hebrews, " smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia ; in ivory 
palaces the sound of harps gladdens him. At his right 
hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir, in a garment 
of wrought gold : on broidered carpets she shall be 

1 Ezekiel xxviii. 217. 


brought to him ; the young maidens, her companions, 
follow her." ' 

Hosea calls Tyre " a plantation in a pleasant 
meadow." 2 Of the city itself Ezekiel says, "The 
architects have made her beauty perfect. All her 
planks (wainscot) were of cypress, and her masts of 
cedar of Lebanon ; the rudders are of oaks of Bashan, 
the benches of ivory, set in costly wood from the island 
of Cyprus. For sails Tyre spreads out byssus and 
gay woofs ; blue and red purple from the islands of 
Elisa formed their coverlets." 3 In the description of 
Strabo, more "than 500 years later, Tyre appears less 
magnificent. The houses of the city were very high, 
higher than at Rome ; the city still wealthy, owing to 
the trade in her two harbours and her purple factories, 
but the number of these made the city unpleasant. 
Strabo does not mention any considerable building in 
the city. Of Aradus he says, " The smallness of the 
rock on which the city lies, seven stades only in circuit, 
and the number of inhabitants caused every house to 
have many stories. Drinking-water had to be obtained 
from the mainland ; on the island there were only 
wells and cisterns." 4 

Scarcely any striking remains of the ancient build- 
ings of Phoenicia have come down to our time. The 
ancient temples enumerated in the treatise on the Syrian 
goddess have perished without a trace ; the temple of 
Melkarth of Tyre, the great temple of Astarte at 
Sidon, the temple of Bilit (Ashera) at Byblus, 5 al- 
though they were certainly not of a character easy to 

1 Psalm xlv. 9 15. Though it is doubtful whether there is any 
reference here to Tyre, the court-life of the Israelites was imitated from 
the Phenicians. 

3 Hosea ix. 13. 3 Ezekiel xxvii. 4 7. 

4 Strabo, pp. 754, 756. 

6 Lucian, " De Syria dea," 3 5. 


destroy. That the Phenicians were acquainted from 
very ancient periods with the erection of strong 
masonry was proved above. Not only have we the 
legend of the Greeks, that Cadmus taught them the 
art of masonry and built the famous walls of Thebes ; 
we saw how Israel, about the year 1000 B.C., provided 
herself with masons, stone-cutters, and materials from 
Tyre. Hence we may also assume that the archi- 
tecture of the temple and the royal palaces of Solomon 
described in the Books of Kings corresponded to the 
architecture of the Phenicians. The temples and 
palaces of the Phenicians consisted, therefore, of walls 
of large materials, roofed with beams of cedar ; in 
the interior the materials were no doubt covered, as 
at Jerusalem, with planks of wood and ornaments of 
brass, "so that the stone was nowhere seen" (p. 183). 
Ezekiel has already told us that the planks of the roofs 
of the royal palace at Tyre were overlaid with gold and 
precious stones ; and the Books of Kings showed us 
that even the floors were adorned with gold. All the 
remains of walls in Phoenicia that can be referred to 
an ancient period exhibit a style of building confined 
to the stone of the mountain range which hems the 
coast, and desirous of imitating the nature of the rocks. 
Blocks of large dimensions were used by preference ; at 
first they were worked as little as possible, and fitted to 
each other, and the interstices between the great blocks 
were filled with smaller stones. Of this kind are the 
fragments of the walls which surround the rock on 
which the city of Aradus stood. Gigantic blocks, 
visible even now here and there, formed the dams of 
the harbours of Aradus, Sidon, Tyre, and Japho. 1 It 
was a step in advance that the blocks, while retaining 
the form in which they were quarried, were smoothed 

1 Kenan, " Mission de Phenicir," p. 39 ff, 362. 


at the joints in order to be fitted together more firmly, 
and a further step still that the blocks were hewn into 
squares, though at first the outer surfaces of the 
squares were not smoothed. So far as remains allow 
us to see, the detached structures were of a simple and 
massive character, in shape like cubes of vast dimen- 
sions ; the walls, as is shown by the city wall of 
Aradus, were joined without mortar, and in the oldest 
times the buildings appear to have been roofed with 
monoliths. Cedar beams were not sought after till 
larger spaces had to be covered. Beside old water- 
basins hewn in the rock, and oil or wine presses of 
the same character, we have no remains of ancient 
Phenician temples but those on the site of Marathus 
(now Amrit), a city of the tribe of the Arvadites, to 
the south of Aradus, and in the neighbourhood of 
Byblus. 1 The bases of the walls which enclose the 
courts and water-basins of the temple of Marathus 
can still be traced, as well as the huge stones which 
formed the three cellae, the innermost shrines of this 
temple. On either side of a back wall formed of similar 
materials heavy blocks protrude, and are roofed over, 
together with this wall, by a great monolith, which 
protected the sacred stone or the image of the deity. 2 
This heavy style of the city walls, dams, temples, 
and royal castles did not prevent the Phenicians, any 
more than the Egyptians, from building the upper 
stories of the dwelling-houses of their cities in light 

By far the most important remains of ancient 
Phoenicia are the rock-tombs, wjbich are found in great 
numbers and extent opposite to the islands of Tyre 
and Aradus, as well as at Sidon, Byblus, and among 

1 Ceccaldi, " Le Monument de Sarba," Revue Archeolog. 1878. 
3 Renan, " Mission de Phenicie," p. 60 ff. 


the ruins of the other cities on the spurs of Lebanon ; 
and which at Tyre especially spread out into wide 
burial-places, and several stories of tombs, one upon 
the other. In the same style we find to the west of 
the ruins of Carthage long walls of rocks hollowed out 
into thousands of tombs, and furnished with arched 
niches for the reception of the dead. 1 In the oldest 
period the Phenicians must have placed their dead in 
natural cavities of rock, and perhaps they erected a 
stone before them as a memorial. In Genesis Abra- 
ham buries Sarah in the cave of Machpelah, and Jacob 
sets up a stone on the grave of Rachel. 2 Afterwards 
the natural hollows were extended, and whole cavities 
dug out artificially for tombs. The tomb of David and 
the tombs of his successors were hewn in the rocks of 
the gorge which separated the city from the height 
of Zion (p. 177). The oldest of the artificial tombs in 
Phoenicia are doubtless those which consist of cubical 
chambers with horizontal hewn roofs. Round one 
or two large chambers lower oblong depressions are 
driven further in the rocks to receive the corpses. 
The entrance into these ancient chambers are formed 
by downward perpendicular shafts, at the bottom of 
which on two sides are openings into the chambers 
secured by slabs of stone laid before them. Shafts of 
this kind must be meant when the Hebrews say in a 
figure of the dead, "The mouth of the well has eaten 
him up." Later than the tombs of this description are 
those the entrance to which is on the level ground (which 
was then closed by a stone), which have roofs hewn in 
low arches, and side niches for the corpses. The arched 
chambers approached by steps leading downward, the 
walls of which are decorated after Grecian patterns on 

1 BeuM, " Nachgrabungen zu Karthago," s. 98 f (translation). 
* Gen. xxxv. 20. 


the stone, or on stucco, must originate from the time 
of the predominance of Greek art, i. e. of the days of 
Hellenism. The oldest style of burial was the placing 
of the corpse in the cavity, the grave-chamber, and after- 
wards in the depression at the side of this. At a later 
time apparently the enclosure of the corpse in a narrow 
coffin of clay became common here, as in Babylonia. 
Coffins of lead have also been found in the rock-tombs 
of Phoenicia. But beside these, heavy oblong stone- 
coffins with a pimple slab of stone as a lid were in use 
in ancient times ; along with flat lids, lids raised in a 
low triangle are also found ; later still, and latest of 
all, are coffins and sarcophagi adorned with acroteria 
and other ornaments of the Greek style. 1 

In the flat limestone rocks which run at a moderate 
elevation in the neighbourhood of Sidon, and contain 
the vast necropolis of that city, there is a cavern, 
now called Mogharet Ablun, i. e. the cave of Apollo. 
Beside the entrance, in a depression covered by a 
structure attached to the rock-wall (the rock-tombs 
were supplemented and extended by structures at- 
tached to the wall), was found a coffin of blackish blue 
stone, the form of which indicates the shape of the 
buried person after the manner of the mummy-coffins 
of Egypt, and displays in colossal relief the mask of 
the dead in Egyptian style, with an Egyptian covering 
for the head and beard on the chin ; the band round 
the neck ends behind in two hawk's heads. The 
inscription in Phenician letters teaches us that this 
coffin contained Esmunazar, king of Sidou. Similar 
sarcophagi in stone, in part expressing the form even 
more accurately, seven or eight in number, have been 
discovered in other chambers of the burial-place of 
Sidon, and in the burial-places of Byblus and Anta- 

1 Kenan, loc. cit. 412 ff. 


radus, but only in cubical, i. e. in more ancient cham- 
bers. Marble coffins of this kind have also been 
found in the Phenician colonies of Soloeis and Panor- 
mus in Sicily, and of the same shape in burnt earth in 
Malta and Gozzo. The Phenicians, therefore, came to 
imitate the coffins of the Egyptians. Similar imita- 
tion of Egyptian burial is proved by the gold plates 
found in Phenician chambers, which are like those 
with which we find the mouth closed in Egyptian 
mummies, and the discovery of golden masks in 
Phenician chambers, 1 which correspond to the gilding 
of the masks of the face of the innermost Egyptian 
coffins which immediately surround the linen covering. 
As the face-mask of the external coffin imitated the 
face of the dead in stone or in coloured wood, so also 
ought the inner gilded face to preserve the features 
of the dead. This imitation of the Egyptian style of 
burial among the Phenicians must go back to a great 
antiquity. It is true that Esmunazar of Sidon did not 
rule till the second half of the fifth or the beginning of 
the fourth century B.C. 2 Yet the shape and style of his 
coffin reminds us of older Egyptian patterns ; it is most 
like the stone coffins of Egypt which have come down 
from the beginning of the sixth century. And if the 
ancient tombs opened at Mycenae behind the lion's gate 
belong to Carians influenced by Phenician civilisation 
(p. 74), if golden masks are here found on the face of 
the dead, the Phenicians must have borrowed this cus- 
tom from the Egyptians as early as the thirteenth 
century, if not even earlier. 

The remains which have come down to us of the 
sculpture, jars, and utensils of Phoenicia exhibit the 
double influence which the art and industry of the 

1 In Cyprus also a mask of this kind has been found. 

9 Von Gutschmid, in ''Fleckeisens Jahrbucher," 1875, s. 579. 


Phenicians underwent even at an early period. Agree- 
ably to the close relations into which the Phenicians 
entered, on the one hand with Babel and Asshur, and on 
the other with Egypt, the effects of these two ancient 
civilisations meet each other on the coast of Syria. 
The arts of the kindred land of the Euphrates, the 
relations of which to Phoenicia were at the same time 
the older, naturally made themselves felt first. When 
Tuthmosis III. collected tribute in Syria at the begin- 
ning of the sixteenth century, the Babylonian weight 
was already in use there ; the jars which were brought 
to this king as the tribute of Syria are carefully 
worked, but as yet adorned with very simple and recur- 
ring patterns of lines. On the other hand, the ornaments 
found in the tombs of My cense, gold-plates, frontlets, 
and armlets, exhibit ornaments like those figured on 
the monuments of Assyria ; and the objects found in 
the rock -tombs on Hymettus, at Spata, point even 
more definitely to Babylonian patterns : winged fabu- 
lous animals and battles of beasts (a lion attacking a 
bull or an antelope a ) are formed in the manner of the 
Eastern Semites, which brings the form of the muscles 
into prominence. We may assume that the influence 
of Egypt began with the times of the Tuthmosis and 
Amenophis, and their supremacy in Syria, and slowly 
gathered strength. The heavy style of Phenician build- 
ings would not be made lighter or more free by the archi- 
tecture of Egypt, which also arose out of building in 
rock. The temples of Phoenicia adopted Egyptian sym- 
bols for their ornaments ; the monoliths of the roofs of 
those three cellae at Marathus exhibit the winged sun's- 
disk, the emblem at the entrance of Egyptian temples ; 
the chests for the dead and masks for the mummies 
of the Egyptians were imitated in the rock-tombs of 

1 AOHNAION tr' y' wivaS; A. 7, B 8. 


Phoenicia. If the weaving of the Phenicians at first 
copied the ancient Babylonian patterns, they began 
under the stronger influence of Egypt to adorn their 
pottery and metal-work after Egyptian patterns. But 
they also combined the Babylonian and Egyptian 
elements in their art. 1 The oldest memorial of this 
combination is perhaps retained in that winged sphinx, 
which belongs to the time of the dominion of the shep- 
herds in Egypt. In the graves on Hymettus pictures 
in relief of female winged sphinxes are found with 
clothed breasts and peculiar wings, in a treatment ob- 
viously already conventional. In Phoenicia itself are 
found reliefs of similar sphinxes, old men with a human 
face on either side of the tree of life, which meet us 
oftentimes in the monuments of Assyria. This combina- 
tion, this use of Babylonian and Egyptian types and 
forms side by side, is seen most clearly on a large 
bowl found at Curium near Amathus, in Cyprus, and 
wrought with great care and skill. 2 It follows that 
the art of the Phenicians was essentially imitative and 
intended to furnish objects for trade. Of round works 
of sculpture we have only dwarfish deities (I. 378), the 
typical form of which was naturally retained, and a 
few lions coarsely wrought in the style of the plastic 
art of Babylon and Assyria. 3 The relation in which 
the lion stood to the god Melkarth naturally made the 
delineation of the lion a favourite object of Phenician 

Phoenicia, though the home of alphabetical writing, 
has left us no more than two or three inscriptions, and 
Carthage has not left us a great number. Not that there 
was any lack of inscriptions in Phoenicia in ancient 

1 Helbig, " Cenni sopra 1'arte fenicia," p. 17 ff. 

2 Ceccaldi, "Les fouilles de Curium," Eevue Archeolog. 1877. 

3 Renan, loc. at. pp. 175, 181, 397. 


days. We have heard already of ancient inscriptions 
at Rhodes, Thebes, and G-ades. Job wishes that " his 
words might be graven on rocks for ever with an iron 
chisel and lead." l The inscriptions of Phoenicia have 
perished because they were engraved like those in- 
scriptions of Gades, on plates of brass. Beside the 
inscription on the coffin of Esmunazar, king of Sid on, 
already mentioned, of a date about 400 B.C., only two 
or three smaller inscriptions have been preserved, 
which do not go beyond the second century B.C. In 
this inscription Esmunazar speaks in person ; he calls 
himself the son of Tabnit, king of the Sidonians, 
son of Esmunazar, king of the Sidonians. With his 
mother, Amastarte, the priestess of Astarte, he had 
erected temples to Baal, Astarte, and Esmun. He 
beseeches the favour of the gods for himself and his 
land ; he prays that Dor and Japho may always 
remain under Sidon ; he declares that he wishes to 
rest in the grave which he has built and in this coffin. 
No one is to open the tomb or plunder it, or remove 
or damage this stone coffin. If any man attempts it 
the gods will destroy him with his seed ; he is not to 
be buried, and after death will find no rest among the 
shades. 2 

There is scarcely any side of civilisation, any forms of 
technical art, the invention of which was not ascribed 
by the Greeks to the Phenicians. They were nearly 
all made known to the Greeks through the Phenicians; 
more especially the building of walls and fortresses, 
mining, the alphabet, astronomy, numbers, mathe- 
matics, navigation, together with a great variety of 
applications of technical skill. If the discovery of 

1 Job xix. 23. 

2 Kodiger, "Z. D. M. Q-." 9, 647; Schlottmann, "Inschrift Esmun- 
azars; " Halevy, "Melanges," pp. 9, 34; Oppert, " Kecords of the Past," 
9, 109. 


alphabetic writing belongs to the Phenicians, the 
Babylonians were the instructors of the Phenicians 
in astronomy as well as in fixing measures and 
weights (I. 305). Yet this is no reason for contest- 
ing the statement of Strabo that the Sidonians were 
" eager inquirers into the knowledge of the stars and 
of numbers, to which they were led by navigation 
by night and the art of calculation." l In the same 
way the technical discoveries ascribed by the Greeks 
to the Phenicians were not all made in their cities ; 
they carried on with vigour and skill what grew up 
independently among them as well as what they learnt 
from others. The making of glass was undoubtedly 
older in Egypt than in Phoenicia (I. 224). Egypt also 
practised work in metals before Phoenicia. Snefru 
and Chufu made themselves masters of the copper 
mines of the peninsula of Sinai before the year 3000 
B.C. (I. 95), while the Phenicians can hardly have 
occupied the copper island off their coast (Cyprus) 
before the middle of the thirteenth century B.C. Ar- 
tistic weaving and embroidery were certainly practised 
at a more ancient date in Babylonia than in the 
cities of the Phenicians. But all these branches of in- 
dustry were carried on with success by the Phenicians. 
Sidon furnished excellent works in glass, which were 
accounted the best even down to a late period of 
antiquity. The dunes on the coast between Acco 
and Tyre, where is the mouth of the glass-river (Sihor 
Libnath), 2 provided the Phenician manufacturers with 
the earth necessary for the manufacture of glass. It 
was maintained that the most beautiful glass was 

1 Strabo, p. 757. 

2 Joshua xix. 26. Strabo, p. 758. Tacitus says, " On the shore of 
Judsea the Belus falls into the sea : the sand collected at the mouth of 
this river, when mixed with saltpetre, is melted into glass. The 
strip of shore is of moderate extent, but inexhaustible ; " " Hist. 5, 7 


cast in Sarepta (Zarpath, i. e. melting), a city on the 
coast between Sidon and Tyre. 1 

The purple dyeing, i. e. the colouring of woofs by the 
liquor from fish, was discovered by the Phenicians. 
They were unsurpassed in this art ; it outlived by 
many centuries the power and splendour of their cities. 
Trumpet and purple fish were found in great numbers 
on their coasts, and the liquor from these provided 
excellent dye. The liquor of the purple-fish, which 
comes from a vessel in the throat, is dark-red in the 
small fish, and black in the larger fish ; the liquor of 
the trumpet-fish is scarlet. The fish were pounded 
and the dye extracted by decoction. By mixing, 
weakening, or thickening this material, and by adding 
this or that ingredient, various colours were obtained, 
through all the shades of crimson and violet down to 
the darkest black, in which fine woollen stuffs and 
linen from Egypt were dipped. The stuffs soaked in 
these colours are the purple cloths of antiquity, and 
were distinguished by the bright sheen of the colours. 
The Tyrian double-dyed cloth, which had the colour 
of curdled blood, and the violet amethyst purple were 
considered the most beautiful. 2 Three hundred pounds 
of the raw material were usually required to dye 50 
pounds of wool. 3 When the purple stuff's began to be 
sought after, the fish collected on the coasts of Tyre, 
Sidon, and Sarepta were no longer sufficient. We 
saw how the ships of the Phenicians went from coast 
to coast in order to get fresh materials for the dye, 
and found them in great numbers on the shores of 
Cyprus, Rhodes, Crete, Cythera, and Thera ; in the 
bays of Laconia and Argos, and in the straits of 

1 Pliny, Hist. Nat." 5, 17. 

2 Adolph Schmidt, " Forschungen auf dem Gebiete des Alterthums," 
s. 69. 3 Schmidt, foe. cit. 129 ff. 


Eubcea. Purple-fish were also collected on the greater 
Syrtis, in Sicily, the Balearic Isles, and coasts of 
Tarshish. 1 Even at a later period, when the art of 
dyeing with the purple-fish was understood and 
practised at many places in the Mediterranean Sea, the 
Tyrian purple still maintained its pre-eminence and 
fame. "Tyre," says Strabo, "overcame her misfor- 
tunes, and always recovered herself by means of her 
navigation, in which the Phenicians were superior to all 
others, and her purples. The Tyrian purple is the most 
beautiful ; the fish are caught close at hand, and 
every other requirement for the dyeing is there in 
abundance." 2 A hundred years later Pliny adds " that 
the ancient glory of Tyre survived now only in her 
fish and her purples." 3 The consumption and expense 
of purple in antiquity was very great, especially in 
Hither Asia. At first the Phenician kings wore the 
purple robe as the sign of their rank ; then it became 
the adornment of the princes of the East, the priests, 
the women of high rank, and upper classes. In the 
temples and palaces the purple served for curtains and 
cloths, robes and veils for the images and shrines. 
The kings of Babylon and Assyria, and after them the 
kings of Persia, collected stores of purple stuffs in their 
palaces. Plutarch puts the value of the amount of 
purple found by Alexander at Susa at 5000 talents. 4 
In the West also the purple robe soon became the 
distinguishing garb of royalty and rank. Yet the 
Greeks and Romans of the better times, owing to the 
costliness of the material, contented themselves with 
the possession of borders or stripes of purple. 

The weaving and embroidery of the Phenicians 

1 Herod. 4, 151; Pliny, "Hist. Nat." 9, 60; Strabo, pp. 145, 835. 
Strabo, p. 757. 3 Pliny, "Hist. Nat." 5, 17. 

Plut. " Alex." c. 36. 


apparently followed Assyrian and Babylonian patterns. 
They must also have made and exported ceramic ware 
and earthen vessels in large numbers at an ancient 
period, as is proved by the tributes brought to Tuth- 
mosis III., the discoveries in Cyprus, Khodes, Thera, 
and at Hissarlik. In the preparation of perfumes Sidon 
and Tyre were not equal to the Babylonians. It is 
true that their manufacturers supplied susinum and 
cyprimim of excellent quality, but they could not 
attain to the cinnamon or the nard ointment, nor to 
the royal ointment of the Babylonians. 1 

In mining the Phenicians were masters. In regard 
to the Phenician skill in this art, the Book of Job says, 
" The earth, from which comes nourishment, is turned 
up ; he lays his hand upon the flint ; far from the deal- 
ings of men he makes his descending shaft. No bird of 
prey knows the path ; the eye of the vulture discovers 
it not ; the wild beasts do not tread it. Through the 
rocks paths are made ; he searches out the darkness and 
the night. Then his eye beholds all precious things. 
The stone of the rocks is the place of the sapphire 
and gold-dust. Iron is taken out of the mountains ; 
stones are melted into brass, the drop of water is 
stopped, and the hidden is brought to light." 2 The 
Phenicians dug mines for copper, first on Lebanon and 
then in Cyprus. We saw that they afterwards, in the 
second half of the thirteenth century, opened out the 
gold treasures of Thasos in the Thracian Sea. Hero- 
dotus, who had seen their abandoned mines there (they 
lay on the south coast of Thasos), informed us that the 
Phenicians had entirely " turned over a whole moun- 
tain." Yet even in the fifth century B.C. the mines of 

1 Movers, "Phceniz." 3, 103. 

2 Job xxviii. 111. In this description the author could only have 
Phenician mines in his eye. 



Thasos produced a yearly income of from two to three 
hundred talents. In Spain the Phenicians opened 
their mines in the silver mountain, i. e. in the Sierra 
Morena, above the lower course of the Baetis (the 
Guadalquivir) ; l their ships went up the stream as 
far as Sephela (perhaps Hispalis, Seville). The richest 
silver-mines lay above Sephela at Ilipa (Niebla) ; the 
best gold and copper mines were at Cotini, in the 
region of Gades. 2 Diodorus assures us that all the 
mines in Iberia had been opened by Phenicians and 
Carthaginians, and not one by the Romans. In the 
more ancient times the workmen here brought up in 
three days an Euboic talent of silver, and their wages 
were fixed at a fourth part of the returns. The mines 
in Iberia were carried down many stades in depth and 
length, with pits, shafts, and sloping paths crossing 
each other ; for the veins of gold and silver were more 
productive at a greater depth. The water in the mines 
was taken out by Egyptian spiral pumps. Strabo 
observes that the gold ore when brought up was 
melted over a slow fire, and purified by vitriolated 
earth. The smelting-ovens for the silver were built 
high, in order that the vapour from the ore, which was 
injurious and even deadly, might pass into the air. 3 

The Phenicians also understood how to work skil- 
fully the metals supplied by their mines. At the 
founding of Gades, which we had to place about the 
year 1100 B.C., iron pillars with inscriptions are men- 
tioned which the settlers put up in the temple of 
Melkarth (p. 82). The brass work which the melter, 
Hiram of Tyre, executed for Solomon (p. 182) is evidence 

1 Miillenhoff, " Deutsche Altertumskunde," 1, 120 ff. 

2 Strabo, p. 142. Kotini = the Oleastrum of the Eomans ; Pliny, 
"Hist. Nat." 3, 3. Ptolem. 2, 4, 14. 

3 Strabo, pp. 175, 176, 120; Pliny, "Hist. Nat." 7, 57. 


of long practice in melting brass, and of skill in 
bringing into shape large masses of melted metal. 
The Homeric poems speak of Sidon as " rich in brass," 
and " skilful ; " they tell us of large beaten bowls of 
brass and silver of Sidonian workmanship, "rich in 
invention." Even at a later period the goblets of 
Sidon were in request. Not only metal implements 
and vessels of brass and copper, molten and beaten, 
were furnished by the Phenicians ; they must also 
have manufactured armour in large quantities, if we 
may draw any conclusion about armour from the tribute 
imposed on the Syrians by Tuthmosis III. It is easily 
intelligible of what value it must have been for the 
nations of the West to come into the possession of 
splendid armour and good weapons. Besides these are 
the ornaments found in great numbers, and of high 
antiquity, in the tombs of Spata and Mycenae, and 
in the excavations at Hissarlik. In Homer, Phenician 
ships bring necklaces of gold and amber to the Greeks. 
At a later time the ornaments of the Phenicians and 
their alabaster boxes were sought after ; the carved 
work in ivory and wood, with which they also adorned 
the prows and banks of oars of their ships, is praised 
by Ezekiel. They also knew how to set and cut precious 
stones ; some seals have come down to us in part from 
an ancient date. 1 

In ship-building the Phenicians were confessedly 
superior ; they are said to have discovered navigation. 2 
The ancient forests of cedar and cypress which rose 
immediately above their shores supplied the best 

1 Ezekiel xxvii. 5, 6 ; Levy, " Siegel und Gemmen." If the first 
text of the Pentateuch represents the names of the tribes of the 
people as engraved upon the precious stones in the shield on the breast 
of the high priest (Exod. xxv. 7 ; xxviii. 9 ff, supra, 207), the author 
had, no doubt, the work of Phenician artists in his eye. 

2 Pliny, " Hist. Nat." 5, 13. 



wood, which resisted decay for an extraordinary 
length of time even in salt water. Much as the 
Phenicians used these forests in the course of a thou- 
sand years for building their ships, their palaces, and 
temples, as well as for exportation, they provided even 
in the third century B.C. a material which for extent, 
size, and beauty won the admiration of the Greeks. 1 
The oldest ship of the Phenicians which continued 
through all time in use as a trading- vessel was the 
gaulos, a vessel with high prow and stern, both of 
which were similarly rounded. It was propelled by 
a large sail and by rowers, from 20 "to 30 in number. 
Besides the gaulos, there was the long and narrow fifty- 
oar, which served for a merchantman and pirate-ship 
as well as for a ship of war, and after the discovery of 
the silver land the large and armed merchantman, the 
ship of Tarshish. Isaiah enumerates the ship of 
Tarshish among the costly structures of men. 2 Ezekiel 
compares Tyre to a proud ship of the sea. We know 
that the great transport-ships and merchantmen of the 
Phenicians and Carthaginians could take about 500 
men on board. The Byblians were considered the best 
ship-builders. The keels of the ships, like the masts, 
were made of cedar ; the oars were of oak, supplied by 
the oak forests of the table-land of Bashan. The 
mariners of Sidon and Aradus were considered the 
best rowers. The Greeks praise the strict and careful 
order on board a Phenician ship, the happy use of 
the smallest spaces, the accuracy in distributing and 
placing the lading, the experience, wisdom, activity, 
and safety of the Phenician pilots and officers. 3 Others 
commend the great sail and oar power of the Phenician 
ships. They could sail even against the wind, and 
make fortunate voyages in the stormy season of the 

1 Diodor. 19, 58. 3 Isaiah ii. 16. 3 Xen. "CEcon." 8, 12. 


year. While the Greeks steered by the Great Bear, 
which, if a more visible, was a far more uncertain 
guide, the Phenicians had at an early time discovered 
a less conspicuous but more trustworthy guide in the 
polar star, which the Greeks call the " Phenician star." 
The Greeks themselves allow that this circumstance 
rendered the voyages of the Phenicians more accurate 
and secure. On an average the Phenician ships, 
which as a rule did not set out before the end of 
February, and returned at the end of October, accom- 
plished 120 miles in 24 hours ; but ships that were 
excellently built and equipped, and sufficiently manned, 
ran about 150 miles. 1 In the fifteenth century the 
galleys of Venice could run from 50 to 100 miles in 
the Mediterranean in the 24 hours. The excellence of 
the Phenician navy survived the independence of the 
cities. Inclination towards, and pleasure in navigation, 
as well as skill in it, were always to be found among 
the populations of those cities. The Phenician ships 
were by far the best in the fleets of the Persian kings. 

1 Movers, "Phceniz." 3, 182 ff, 191 ff. 



WE found above at what an early period the migratory 
tribes of Arabia came into intercourse with the region 
of the Euphrates, and the valley of the Nile, how 
in both these places they. purchased corn, implements, 
and weapons in return for their horses and camels, 
their skins and their wool, and the prisoners taken in 
their feuds. It was this exchange trade of the Arabian 
tribes which in the first instance brought about the 
intercourse of Syria with Babylonia and Egypt. Egypt 
like Babylonia required oil and wine for their popula- 
tion ; metals, skins, and wool for their manufactures ; 
w r ood for the building of houses and ships. For the 
Syrians and cities of the Phenicians the intercourse 
with the Arabians, and the lands of the Euphrates and 
Tigris, was facilitated by the fact that nations related to 
them in race and language dwelt as far as the border- 
mountains of Armenia and Iran and the southern 
coast of Arabia, and their trade with Egypt was 
facilitated in the same manner when Semitic tribes 
between 2000 and 1500 B.C. obtained the supremacy in 
Egypt and maintained it for more than three centuries. 
From the fact that Babylonian weights and measures 
were in use in Syria in the sixteenth century B.C., we 
may conclude that there must have been close trade 
relations between Syria and Babylonia from the year 
2000 B.C. ; and in the same manner in consequence of 


the conquest of Egypt by the shepherds more active 
relations must have commenced between Syria and 
the land of the Nile, at a period not much later. The 
supremacy which Egypt afterwards obtained over 
Syria under the Tuthmosis and Amenophis must have 
rather advanced than destroyed this ; thus Sethos, 
towards the year 1400, used his successes against the 
Cheta, i. e. the Hittites, to have cedars felled on Lebanon. 
We may assume that even before this time, after the 
rise of the kingdom of the Hittites, i. e. after the middle 
of the fifteenth century, the cities of the Phenicians 
were no longer content to exchange the products of 
Syria, wine, oil, and brass, the manufactures of their 
own growing industry, purple stuffs and weapons, 
with the manufactures of Egypt, linen cloths, and 
papyrus tissues, glass and engraved stones, ornaments 
and drugs, on the one hand, and on the other hand 
with the manufactures of Babylon, cloths, ointments, 
and embroidered stuffs : they also carried Egyptian 
fabrics to Babylon, and Babylonian fabrics to Egypt. 
The trade of Phoenicia with Egypt and Babylonia 
was no longer restricted to the exchange of Phenician- 
Syrian products and fabrics with those of Egypt 
and Babylon : it was at the same time a middle 
trade between those two most ancient seats of cultiva- 
tion, between Egypt and Babylonia. It cannot have 
been any detriment to this trade of the Phenicians 
that a second centre of civic life sprang up subse- 
quently on the central Tigris in the growing power of 
Assyria. In the ruins of Chalah (p. 34) Egyptian 
works of art have been dug up in no inconsiderable 
numbers. Herodotus begins his work with the ob- 
servation that the Phenicians at an early period 
endeavoured to export and exchange Egyptian and 
Assyrian (i. e. Babylonian and Assyrian) wares. 


The sea lay open to the cities of the Phenicians for 
their intercourse with Egypt ; for this route they were 
independent of the good will or aversion of the tribes and 
princes, who ruled in the south of Canaan ; moreover 
the wood of Lebanon could not be carried by land to 
Egypt. We may certainly assume that the navigation 
of the Phenicians was enabled to obtain its earliest 
practice for further journeys by these voyages to that 
mouth of the Nile, which the Egyptians opened to 
foreign ships (I. 227). The free and secure use of the 
routes of the caravans to the Euphrates, and from this 
river to the Syrian coast, must have been obtained 
from the rulers of Syria, the princes of Hamath and 
Damascus, the migratory tribes of the Syrian desert, 
the princes whose dominions lay on the Euphrates ; 
and would hardly be obtained without heavy pay- 
ments. So much the more desirable was it, if the 
cities could enter into special relations with one or 
other of these princes, such as David and Solomon, 
who not only opened Israel to them, but also provided 
the routes with caravanserais and warehouses (p. 187). 
The trade-road to the Euphrates led from Sidon past 
Dan (Laish) in Israel to Damascus, hence northwards 
past Biblah and Emesa (Hems) to Hamath, from 
Hamath to Bambyke (Hierapolis) in the neighbourhood 
of the Euphrates, and then crossed over the river to 
Harran (I. 320). From Harran the caravans went 
down along the Belik to the Euphrates, then in the 
valley of the Euphrates to Babylon, or went eastwards 
past Nisibis (Nisib) to the Tigris. A shorter road to the 
Euphrates ran past Damascus and the oasis of Tadmor, 
and reached the river at Thipsach (Thapsacus) at the 
farthest bend to the west. 1 

We have already seen at what an early period the 

1 Supra, p. 187. Movers, " Phoeniz." 2, 3, 244 ff. 


trade with the land of frankincense, i. e. with South 
Arabia, grew up for Egypt, owing to the mutual 
intercourse of the Arabian tribes (I. 226). The first 
attempt of Egypt to open a communication by sea 
with South Arabia falls about the year 2300 B.C. At a 
period not later, other Arabian tribes must have 
carried the incense and spices of South Arabia to 
Elam, Ur and Nipur, and Babylon. Syria must have 
received the products of South Arabia first through 
Babylon, then by means of direct communication with 
the Arabs, and lastly by the special caravans of the 
Phenicians. We hear of two trade-roads to that land. 
One led past Damascus to the oasis of Duma (Dumat 
el Dshandal), and from thence through the interior of 
Arabia to the south ; the other ran through Israel past 
Ashtaroth Karnaim, through the territories of the Am- 
monites, Moabites, and Edomites, to Elath, and thence 
led along the coast of the Arabian Gulf to the Sabaeans 
(I. 320). From the Sabseans and the Chatramites even 
before the year 1500 B.C. the caravans brought not 
spices only and incense, but also the products of the 
Somali coast. The Sabseans traversed the Arabian 
Gulf and carried home the products of the coast of 
East Africa; the southwest coast of Arabia was no 
longer a place for producing and exporting frankin- 
cense and spices ; it became the trading-place of the 
Somali coast, and before the year 1000 B.C. was also 
the trading-place for the products of India, which 
ships of the Indians carried to the shore of the 
Sabeeans and Chatramites (I. 322). It must have 
been a considerable increase in the extent of the 
Phenician trade and the gains obtained from it, 
when the Phenicians were able to make such a fruitful 
use of their connection with South Arabia that it fell 
into their hands to provide Egypt, with her products, 


and perhaps even Babylonia also. Their caravan trade 
with South Arabia must have been lively, and the 
impulse to extend it strong, as they induced king 
Solomon to allow them to attempt a connection by sea 
from Elath with South Arabia. By the foundation 
and success of the trade to Ophir, and the most remote 
places of the East which they reached, their commerce 
obtained its widest extent, and brought in the richest 
returns. With incense and balsam, there came to Tyre 
cinnamon and cassia, sandal-wood and ivory, gold and 
pearls from India, and the silk tissues of the distant 
East. 1 

The commerce of the Phenician cities comprised 
Egypt, Babylonia, and Assyria, it touched Mesopotamia 
and Armenia, the lands of the Moschi and Tibarenes, 
the silver and copper mines of the Chalybes on the 
Black Sea. 2 When on the opening of the communica- 
tion by the Red Sea with South Arabia and the coun- 
tries beyond, it gained the widest extent to the south 
and east, it had for a whole century past traversed the 
entire length of the Mediterranean to the Straits of 
Gibraltar. We saw above how the Phenicians steered 
to Cyprus, Rhodes, Crete, to the ^gean Sea, to the 
coasts of Hellas, in order to barter or dig up minerals, 
to collect purple-fish for their coloured stuffs, and how 
after the middle of the thirteenth centuiy they began 
to plant settlements on these coasts. The request for 
minerals must have been so strongly felt in their own 
cities, in Egypt and the lands of the Euphrates, in the 
course of the twelfth century, that the ships of the 
Phenicians went farther and farther to the west in 
search of them, that Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica were 
reached and then colonised by them. At the same 

1 Movers, loc. dt. 2, 3, 265 ff. 

9 Vol. i. p. 538. Ezekiel xxvii. 14 ; xxxviii. 6. 


time Ityke and Old Hippo were built on the coast 
of Africa. These supplied saltpetre, alum, and salt, 
skins of lions and panthers, horns of buffalos, ostrich 
eggs and feathers, slaves and ivory to the mother- 
cities. After this, about the year 1100 B.C., Grades 
was built on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. The 
trade of the Phenicians now brought not only the 
products of Syria and the manufactures of their cities 
to Egypt and Babylonia ; it was not merely a middle 
trade between those two lands, nor merely an independ- 
ent trade and middle trade between South Arabia and 
the civilised countries ; it mediated now between the 
East and the West, the products and manufactures of 
the near and distant East, and the natural products of 
the near and distant West, between the ancient civilis- 
ation of the East and the young life of the nations of 
the West. It was above all the metals of the West, the 
gold of the Thracian, the copper of the Italian islands, 
the silver of Tartessus, which the ships of the Phenicians 
carried into the harbours of the mother-cities : the 
nations of the West received in return weapons, and 
metal vases, ornaments, variegated cloths, and purple 
garments. The works of Babylonian and Egyptian 
style, the works which are found in the tombs of Caere, 
Clusium, Alsium, at Corneto and Praeneste, adorned 
in types at once Egyptian and Babylonian- Assyrian, 
like the implements and ornaments found in the 
tombs of Spata and Mycenae, can only have come into 
the possession of the Etruscans, Latins, and Lucanians 
from intercourse with the Phenicians, the Phenician 
colonies of Sicily, or from the trade with Carthage. 1 

From Gades the Phenicians succeeded in forcing 
their way farther to the Atlantic Ocean. Phenician 
colonies were founded on the west coast of Africa. 

1 Helbig, "Annali del Inst. AicV 1876, pp. 57, 117, 247 ff. 


Lixus, the oldest and most important of these (Lach- 
ash, now El Araish), at the mouth of the river of the 
same name (now Wadi el Ghos), is said to have been the 
seat of a famous sanctuary of Melkarth. 1 Strabo is of 
opinion that these colonies of the Phenicians beyond 
the pillars of Hercules were built soon after the Trojan 
war, i. e. about the year 1100 B.C. 2 Diodorus told 
us already how Phenician ships, steering to the coast 
of Libya in order to explore the sea beyond the pillars 
were carried away by a storm far into the ocean, and dis- 
covered a large island opposite Libya, which, from the 
pleasantness of the air and the abundance of blessings, 
seemed fitted to be the dwelling of the gods rather 
than men (p. 82). We can hardly doubt, therefore, 
that the Phenicians visited Madeira and the Canary 

Tin was early known to the ancient world, and 
was indispensable for the alloy of copper, but it could 
only be found mixed with copper in the mines of the 
Chalybes and Tibarenes (the Tabal of the Assyrians, 
the Tubal of the Hebrews), whose name is found in 
Genesis in Tubal-cain, the first smith, the father of 
them that work in brass and iron (I. 539). Besides 
these, there were tin mines only in the lofty Hin- 
dukush, in the north-west of Iberia, and in the south- 
west of England. 3 Herodotus observes : Tin and 
amber come from the extreme western ends of Europe. 
He could not learn from any eye-witness whether there 
was a sea there, though he had taken much trouble in 
the matter. Pliny tells us : Midacritus first brought 

1 Pliny, " Hist. Nat." s. 1 ; 19, 22. Cf. Movers, loc. cit. 2, 2, 537 ff. 

2 Strabo, p. 48; cf. p. 150. 

* The German tin-mines were not opened till the middle ages ; those 
of farther India in the last century; Miillenhoff, "Deutsche Alter- 
tumskunde," s. 24. 


tin from the island Kassiteris, i. e. the tin-island. 1 It 
was the Phenicians who obtained tin, and they did not 
obtain it from Iberia only: their ships sailed through the 
Bay of Biscay, they became acquainted with the shore of 
Brittany, which appears to have been known to them 
as (Estrymnis ; they discovered the tin islands, i. e. 
the Channel Islands, the coast of Cornwall, and even 
the island of Albion. 2 The tin-islands or Kassiterides 
of the Greeks are the islands of the north-west ocean, 
known to the Phenicians, who procured tin from them. 

The Homeric poems often mention amber, which, 
worked into ornaments, Phenician ships brought to 
the Greeks. Ornaments of amber are met with in 
the oldest tombs of Cumae, in the tombs at the Lion's 
Gate at Mycenae. 8 Hence the Phenicians must have 
been in possession of amber as early as the eleventh 
century B.C. Amber was found not only on the shores 
of the Baltic, but also on the coast of the North Sea, 
between the mouth of the Rhine and the Elbe. We 
may therefore draw the conclusion that in the eleventh 
and tenth centuries B.C. they must have advanced far 
enough in the Channel towards the mouth of the Rhine, 
or beyond it, to obtain amber by exchange or collect 
it themselves, unless we assume an extensive inter- 
course between the Celts and Germans. 4 

The starting-point, harbour, and emporium for the 
trade in the West and the voyages beyond the pillars 
of Melkarth in the Atlantic Ocean was Gades. Long 
after the naval power of the Phenicians and Carthage 

1 Herod. 3, 115; Pliny, "Hist. Nat." 7, 57. 

2 At a later time we meet with tlie name Prettanian islands. Ynis 
Prydein, i. e. island of Prydein, was the name given by the Welsh to 
their land ; Miillenhoff, loc. cit. s. 88 ff, 93 ff . 

3 Helbig, " Commercio dell ambra," p. 10, n. 4. On the amber in the 
tombs east of the Apennines, pp. 15, 16. 

* Miillenhoff, loc. cit. s. 223. 


had perished, Gades remained a great, rich, and flour- 
ishing city of trade. Strabo describes it thus : " Situ- 
ated on a small island not much more than a hundred 
stades in length, and scarce a stade in breadth, without 
any possessions on the mainland or the islands, this 
city sends out the most and largest ships, and seems 
to yield to no other city, except Rome, in the number 
of the inhabitants. But the greater part do not live 
in the city, but on ships." l 

In the tenth century B.C. the navigation and trade 
of the Phenicians extended from the coasts of the 
Arabian Sea, from the Somali coast, and perhaps from 
the mouths of the Indus as far as the coast of Britain ; 
from the coasts of Mauritania on the Atlantic to the 
Tigris, from Armenia to the Sabaeans. Stretching 
out far in every direction, they had as yet suffered 
reverses in one region only, in the basin of the ^Egean 
Sea. Their trade and intercourse was not indeed de- 
stroyed, but their mines, their colonies on the islands 
of this sea and the coasts of Hellas, were lost. Before 
Hiram ascended the throne of Tyre, the Phenicians, 
after teaching Babylonian weights and measures, the 
building of fortresses and walls, and mining to the 
Greeks, and bringing them their alphabet (p. 57), were 
compelled to retire before the increasing strength of 
the Greek cantons, not only from the coasts of Hellas, 
but also from the islands of the ^Egean. The trade, 
however, with the Hellenes continued as before, in 
lively vigour, so far as the Homeric descriptions can 
be accepted as evidence. The most valuable possessions 
in the treasuries of the Greek princes are Sidonian 
works of art. Phenician ships often show themselves 
in Greek waters. When one of these merchantmen is 
anchored, the wares are set out in the ship, or under 

1 Strabo, p. 168. 


tents on the shore, or the Phenicians offer them for 
sale in the nearest place. A Phenician vessel laden 
with all kinds of ornaments lands on an island ; after 
the Phenicians have sold many wares they offer to 
the queen a necklace of gold and amber, and at the 
same time they carry off her son, and sell him on 
another island. A Phenician freights a ship to Libya, 
and persuades a Greek to go with him as overseer of the 
lading : he intended to sell him there as a slave. Along 
with these notices in the Homeric poems on the trade 
of the Phenicians, an account has also come down to 
us from an Eastern source. The prophet Joel, who 
prophesied about the year 830 B.C., says, in regard to 
the invasion of the Philistines in Judah, which took 
place about the year 845 B.C., and brought them to the 
walls of Jerusalem (p. 252) ; Tyre and Sidon, and all 
the regions of the land of the Philistines, have stolen 
the silver and gold of Jehovah, and carried the costly 
things into their temples ; the sons of Judah and 
Jerusalem they sold to the sons of Javan (the Greeks), 
in order to remove them far from their land. 1 

For the colonies which the Phenicians had to give 
up on the Greek coasts and islands, they found a rich 
compensation in the strengthening and increase of 
their colonies on the west of the Mediterranean, on 
Sardinia, where they built Caralis (Cagliari) on the 
southern shore, on Corsica, on the north coast of 
Africa, where Carthage arose about the middle of the 
ninth century (p. 269), and on the shores of Iberia. But 
another loss which befell them in the East could not be 
made good so easily. After king Jehoshaphat's death 
(848 B.C.), even before the invasion of the Philistines, 

1 Joeliii. 4 ff. On the date of Joel, supra, p. 260, n. 2. De Wette- 
Schrader, " Einleitung," s. 454. According to the data established 
above, the minority of Joash falls between 837 and 825 B.C. 


the kingdom of Judah, as we saw (p. 252), lost the 
sovereignty over the Edomites. Hence the harbour- 
city of Elath was lost to the Phenicians also, and the 
Ophir trade at an end, a century and a half after 
it began. Though 50 years later, when Judah under 
Amaziah and Uzziah had reconquered the Edomites, 
and Elath was rebuilt, this navigation, as it seems, 
was again set in motion, this restoration was of no lono- 

O * o 

continuance. After the middle of the eighth century 
the Phenicians were finally limited for their trade with 
the Sabaeans to the caravan routes through Arabia. 

A still more serious source of danger was the ap- 
proach of the Assyrian power to the Syrian coast. 
In the course of the ninth century (from 876 B.C.), 
as has been remarked above, Assyrian armies repeat- 
edly showed themselves in Syria, and their departure 
had repeatedly to be purchased by tribute. As this 
pressure increased, and the Assyrian rulers insisted on 
pushing forward the borders of their kingdom towards 
Syria as far as the shores of the Mediterranean, as 
the cities of the Phenicians became subject to a power 
the centre of which lay in the distant interior, the 
trade not to the East but to the West came into 
question, and it was doubtful whether the cities, 
when embodied in a great land-power, could retain 
Cyprus in subjection, and keep up the trade with 
Egypt, and the connection with their colonies in the 
West. The doubt became greater when, after the 
beginning of the eighth century B.C., a dangerous 
opposition rose in the Mediterranean, and a still 
more serious competition against the Phenicians. Not 
content with driving the Phenicians out of the ^Egean 
Sea, with obtaining possession of the islands and the 
west coast of Asia Minor, the Hellenes spread farther 
and farther to the west. Already they had got 


Ehodes into their hands ; they were already settled off 
the coast of Syria, on the island of Cyprus, among 
the ancient cities of the Phenicians. Still more 
vigorous was the growth of their settlements to the 
west of the Mediterranean. After founding Cyme 
(Cumae) on the coast of Lower Italy, they built in 
Sicily, after the middle of the eighth century, in 
quick succession, Naxus (738 B.C.), Syracuse (735 B.C.), 
Catana (730 B.C.), and Megara (728 B.C.), to which 
were quickly added Rhegium, Sybaris, Croton, and 
Tarentum in Lower Italy (720708 B.C.). Were the 
cities of the Phenicians in Sicily, Rus Melkarth, Motye, 
Panormus, Soloeis, and Eryx (p. 79), in a position to 
hold the balance against these rivals and their naviga- 

o o 

tion ? The injurious effects of the competition of a 
rival power by sea for the trade of the Phenicians 
must have increased when, in the seventh century, the 
cities of the Greeks in Sicily increased in number, and 
Egypt was opened to them about the middle of this 
century; when, in the year 630 B.C., the first Greek 
city, Gyrene, rose on the shore of Africa, and about 
the same time the Greeks entered into direct trade 
connections with Tartessus ; when at the close of this 
century a Greek city was built on the shore of the 
Ligystian Sea, at the mouth of the Rhone, and soon 
after the settlements of the Greeks in Sicily and in 
the west of the Mediterranean began to multiply. 
While in this manner the field of Phenician trade 
was limited by the constant advance of the Greeks, 
the mother-cities, from the same period, the middle of 
the eighth century, had to feel the whole weight of 
the development of Assyrian power. And when this 
pressure ceased, in the second half of the seventh 
century, it was followed by the still more burden- 
some oppression of the Babylonian empire. 



Yet in spite of all hindrances and losses, a prophet 
of the Hebrews after the middle of the eighth century 
could say of Tyre, that " she built herself strongholds, 
and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the 
mire of the streets." 1 And Ezekiel at the beginning 
of the sixth century describes the trade of Tyre in 
the following manner : " Thou who dwellest at the 
entrance of the sea, who art the trader of the nations 
to many islands ! On mighty waters thy rowers carry 
thee ; thy trade goes out over all seas ; thou satisfiest 
many nations ; thou hast enriched the kings of the 
earth by the multitude of thy goods and wares. Thou 
art become mighty in the midst of the sea. All ships 
of the sea and their sailors were in thee to purchase 
thy wares. Persians and Libyans and Lydians serve 
in thee ; they are thy warriors ; they hang shield and 
helmet on thy walls : thy own warriors stand round 
on the walls, and brave men are on all thy towers. 
Syria is thy merchant, because of the number of the 
wares of thy skill ; they make thy fairs with emeralds, 
purple, and broidered work, and fine linen, and coral, 
and agate. Damascus is thy merchant in the mul- 
titude of the wares of thy making, in the wine of 
Helbon, and white wool. Judah and the land of 
Israel were thy merchants; they traded in thy market 
wheat and pastry and honey. They of the house of 
Togarmah (Armenia) traded in thy fairs with horses 
and mules. Haran, Canneh, and Asshur, and Childmad 
were thy merchants in costly robes, in blue cloths 
and embroidered work, and chests of cedar-wood full 
of damasks bound with cords, in thy place of mer- 
chandise. Dedan (the Dedanites 2 ) is thy merchant 
in horse - cloths for riding. Wedan brings tissues 

1 The older Zechariah ix. 3, and De "Wette-Sclirader, " Einleitung,' 
B. 480. 2 Vol. i. p. 314. 


to thy markets : forged iron, cassia, and calamus 
were brought to thy markets. Arabia and all the 
princes of Kedar are ready for thee with lambs, rams, 
and goats. The merchants of Sabsea and Ramah 1 
traffic with thee ; they occupied in thy fairs with the 
chief of all spices, and with all precious stones and 
gold. Javan (the Greeks), Tubal, and Mesech (the 
Tibarenes and Moschi) are thy merchants; they 
trade with silver, iron, tin, and lead. Many islands 
are at hand to thee for trade ; they brought thee for 
payment horns of ivory arid ebony. The ships of 
Tarshish are thy caravans in thy trade : so art thou 
replenished and mighty in the midst of the sea." 2 

1 Yol. i. p. 314. 2 Ezekiel xxvii. 




THE campaigns which Tiglath Pilesar, king of Asshur, 
undertook towards the West about the end of the 
twelfth century, and which carried him to the Upper 
Euphrates and into Northern Syria, remained with- 
out lasting result. The position which Tiglath Pilesar 
then had won on the Euphrates was not main- 
tained by his successors in any one instance. More 
than 200 years after Tiglath Pilesar we find Tiglath 
Adar II. (889 883 B.C.) again in conflict with the 
same opponents who had given his forefather such 
trouble with the mountaineers of the land of Nairi, 
the district between the highland valley of Albak on the 
Greater Zab and the Zibene-Su, the eastern source of 
the Tigris. The son and successor of this Tiglath Adar, 
Assumasirpal, was the first whom we see again under- 
taking more distant campaigns ; the successful results 
of which are the basis of a considerable extension of 
the Assyrian power. 

Assumasirpal also chiefly directed his arms against 
the mountain-land in the north. On his first cam- 
paign he fought on the borders of Urarti, i. e. of the 
land of Ararat, the region of the Upper Araxes. In 
the second year of his reign (881 B.C.) he marched out 
of the city of Nineveh, crossed the Tigris, and imposed 
tribute on the land of Kummukh (Gumathene, p. 41), 
and the Moschi, in asses, oxen, sheep, and goats. In the 
third year he caused his image to be hewn in the place 


where Tiglath Pilesar and Tiglath Adar his fathers had 
chosen to set up their images ; he tells us that his own 
was engraved beside the others. l Only the image of 
Tiglath Pilesar I. is preserved at Karkar. Assurnasirpal 
received tribute from the princes of the land of Nairi 
bars of gold and silver, iron, oxen and sheep ; arid 
placed a viceroy over the land of Nairi. But the sub- 
jugation was not yet complete ; Assurnasirpal related 
that on a later campaign he destroyed 250 places in 
the land of Nairi. 2 He tells us further, that on his 
tenth campaign he reduced the land of Kirchi, took 
the city of Amida (now Diarbekr), and plundered it. 3 
Below this city, on the bank of the Tigris at Kurkh 
(Karch), there is a stone tablet which represents him 
after the pattern of Tiglath Pilesar at Karkar (p. 40.) 

Between these conflicts in the north lie campaigns 
to the south and west. In the year 879 B.C. he 
marched out, as he tells us, from Chalah. On the 
other bank of the Tigris he collected a heavy tribute, 
then he marched to the Euphrates, took the city of 
Suri in the land of Sukhi, and caused his image to be 
set up in this city. Fifty horsemen and the warriors 
of Nebu-Baladan, king of Babylon (Kardunias), had 
fallen into his hand, and the land of the Chaldaeans 
had been seized with fear of his weapons. 4 We must 
conclude therefore that the king of Babylon had sent 
auxiliary troops to the prince of the land of Sukhi 
(whom the inscriptions call Sadudu). In the following 
year he occupied the region at the confluence of the 
Chaboras with the Euphrates, crossed the Euphrates 
on rafts, and conquered the inhabitants of the lands of 
Sukhi, Laki, and Khindaui, which had marched out with 
6000 men to meet him. On the banks of the Euphrates 

1 Menant, " Ann." pp. 71, 72, 73. 2 Menant, loc. cit. p. 82. 
3 Menant, loc. cit. pp. 90, 91. 4 Menant, loc. cit. p. 84. 


he then founded two cities ; that on the further 
bank bore the name of " Dur-Assurnasirpal," and that 
on the nearer bank the name of " Nibarti-Assur." 
During this time he pretends to have slain 50 Am si (p. 
43) on the Euphrates, and captured 20 ; to have slain 
20 eagles and captured 20. 1 Then he turned against 
Karchemish, in the land of the Chatti (p. 43). In the 
year 876 B.C. he collected tribute in the regions of 
Bit Bakhian and Bit Adin in the neighbourhood of 
Karchemish, and afterwards laid upon Sangar, king of 
Karchemish, a tribute of 20 talents of silver, and 100 
talents of iron. From Karchemish Assurnasirpal 
marched against the land of Labnana, i. e. the land 
of Lebanon. King Lubarna in the land of the Chatti 
submitted, and had to pay even heavier tribute than 
the king of Karchemish. Assurnasirpal reached the 
Orontes (Arantu), took the marches of Lebanon, 
marched to the great sea of the western land, offered 
sacrifice to the gods, and received the tribute of the 
princes of the sea-coasts, the prince of Tyre (Ssurru), 
of Sidon (Ssidunu), of Byblus (Gubli), and the city of 
Arvada (Aradus), "which is in the sea" (p. 277) 
bars of silver, gold, and lead ; " they embraced his 
feet." Then the king marched against the mountains 
of Chamani (Amanus) ; here he causes cedars and 
pines to be felled for the temples of his gods, and the 
narrative of his exploits to be written on the rocks, 
and worshipped at Nineveh before the goddess Istar. 2 
According to the evidence of these inscriptions, 
Assurnasirpal established the supremacy of Assyria in 
the region of the sources of the Tigris. But even he 
does not appear to have gone much further than 
Tiglath Pilesar before him, for he also fought once on 
the borders of Armenia, i. e. of the land of Ararat, and 

1 Menant, p. 86. 2 E. Schrader, "K A. T." s. 66, 67. 


on the other hand forced his way as far as the upper 
course of the Eastern Euphrates. Against Babylon 
he undertook, so far as we can see, no offensive war ; 
he was content to drive out of the field the auxiliaries 
which Nebu-Baladan of Babylon sent to a prince on 
the middle Euphrates without pursuing the advantage 
further. The most important results which he obtained 
were in the west. He gained the land of the Chaboras, 
and fixed himself firmly on the Euphrates above the 
mouth of that river. To secure the crossing he built 
a fortress on either side, and then forced his way from 
here to the mountain land of the Amanus, to the 
Orontes and Lebanon. For the first time the cities of 
the Phenicians paid tribute to the king on the banks 
of the Tigris ; Arvad (Aradus), Gebal (Byblus), Sidon, 
and Tyre, where at this time, as we saw (p. 267), 
Mutton, the son of Ethbaal, was king. 

Shalmanesar I.,who reigned over Assyria about the 
year 1300 B.C., built, as we have remarked above, the 
city of Chalah (Nimrud), on the eastern bank of the 
Tigris above the confluence of the Greater Zab. The 
remains of the outer walls show that this city formed 
a tolerably regular square, and that the western wall 
ran down to the ancient course of the Tigris, which 
can still be traced. In the south-western corner of 
the city, on a terrace of unburnt bricks, rose the 
palaces of the kings and the chief temples. They 
were shut off towards the city by a separate wall. 
Nearly in the middle of this terrace on the river-side 
we may trace the foundation- works of a great building, 
called by our explorers the north-west palace. In the 
remains of this structure, on two surfaces on the 
upper and lower sides of a large stone, which forms 
the floor of a niche in a large room, is engraved an 
inscription of Assurnasirpal, and a second on a 


memorial stone of 12 to 13 feet high. Inscriptions on 
the slabs of the reliefs with which the halls of the 
building were adorned repeat the text of these inscrip- 
tions in an abbreviated manner. They tell us that the 
ancient city of Chalah, which Shalmanesar the Great 
founded, was desolate and in ruins ; Assurnasirpal 
built it up afresh from the ground j 1 he led a canal 
from the Greater Zab, and gave it the name of Pati- 
kanik ; 2 traces and remains are left, which show us 
that the course of the canal from the Greater Zab 
led directly north to the city. Cedars, pines, and 
cypresses of Mount Chamani (Amanus) had he caused 
to be felled for the temples of Adar, Sin, and Samas, 
his lords. 3 He built temples at Chalah for Adar, Bilit, 
Sin, and Bin. He made* the image of the god Adar, 
and set it up to his great divinity in the city of Chalah, 
and in the piety of his heart dedicated the sacred bull 
to this great divinity. For the habitation of his king- 
dom, and the seat of his monarchy, he founded and 
completed a palace. Whosoever reigns after him in 
the succession of days may he preserve this palace in 
Chalah, the witness of his glory, from ruin ; may he not 
surrender it to rebels, may he not overthrow his pillars, 
his roof, his beams, or change it for another structure, 
or alter his inscriptions, the narrative of his glory. 
" Then will Asshur the lord and the great god exalt 
him, and give him all lands of the earth, extend his 
dominion over the four quarters of the world, and pour 
abundance, purity, and peace over his kingdom." 4 

The palace of Assurnasirpal at Chalah was a build- 
ing about 360 feet in length and 300 feet in breadth. 
Two great portals guarded by winged lions with 
bearded human heads, the images or symbols of the 
god Nergal, led from the north to a long and propor- 

1 Schra-ler, Joe. s. 20, 21. 2 "Becords of the Past," 3, 79. 

3 Menant, Joe. fit. p. 89. 4 Menant, p. 93. 


tionately narrow portico of 154 feet in length and 35 
feet in breadth. In the south wall of this portico a 
broad door, by which stand two winged human-headed 
bulls, images of the god Adar, and hewn out of yellow 
limestone, opens into a hall 100 feet long and 25 
broad. On the east and south sides also of the central 
court (the west side is entirely destroyed) lie two 
longer halls, and a considerable number of larger and 
smaller chambers. The height of the rooms appears to 
have been from 1 6 to 1 8 feet. 1 The walls of the northern 
portico were covered with slabs of alabaster to a height 
of 10 or 12 feet, on which were reliefs of the martial 
exploits of the king, his battles, his sieges, his hunting 
he claims to have killed no fewer than 370 mighty 
lions, and to have taken 75 alive. The reliefs on the 
slabs of the second hall, which abuts on this, exhibit 
colossal forms with eagle heads. Above the slabs the 
masonry of the walls was concealed by tiles coloured 
and glazed, or by painted arabesques. Beside the 
fragments of this building a statue of the builder, 
Assurnasirpal, was discovered. On a simple base of 
square stone stands a figure in an attitude of serious 
repose, in a long robe, without any covering to the 
head, with long hair and strong beard, holding a sort 
of sickle in the right hand, and a short staff in the 
left. 2 On the breast we read, " Assurnasirpal, the 
great king, the mighty king, the king of the nations, 
the king of Asshur, the son of Tiglath Adar, king of 
Asshur, the son of Bin-nirar, king of Asshur. Victori- 
ous from the Tigris to the land of Labnana (Lebanon), 
to the great sea, he subjugated all lands from the rising 
to the setting of the sun." 3 An image in relief at the 
entrance of the west of the two temples which this 
king built, to the north of his palace, on the terrace of 

1 G. Eawlinson, " Monarch." 2 2 , 94. 

1 G. Rawlinson, " Monarch." 1*, 310. 3 Menant, for. cif. p. H7. 


Chalah (at the entrance to the first are two colossal 
winged lions with the throats open, and at the 
entrance of the second two wingless lions), exhibits 
the king with the Kidaris on his head, and his hand 
upraised ; before the base of the relief stands a small 
sacrificial altar. 1 We have already mentioned the 
image of Assurnasirpal which he had engraved near 
Kurkh, and which is preserved there. According to 
inscriptions lately discovered, and not yet published, 
Assurnasirpal built a palace at Niniveh also, and 
restored the ancient temple of Istar, which Samsi-Bin 
formerly erected there (p. 31). a 

The reign of Assurnasirpal gave the impulse to a 
warlike movement which continued in force long after 
his time, and extended the power of Assyria in every 
direction. His son, Shalmanesar II., who ascended 
the throne in 859 B.C., followed in the path of his 
father. In the first years of his reign he fought against 
Khubuskia, which, as we find from the inscriptions, 
was a district lying on the Greater Zab, against a 
prince of the land of Nairi (p. 41), against the prince 
of Ararat (Urarti), Arami, and received the tribute of 
the land of Kummukh (p. 41). He crosses the 
r'ver Arzania either the Arsanias (Murad-Su), the 
Eastern Euphrates, or the Arzen-Su (Nicephorius), 
which falls into the Tigris before it bends to the 
south and takes the city of Arzaska in Urarti, i. e. 
perhaps Arsissa, on Lake Van, 3 These wars in the 
north were followed by battles on the Euphrates. He 
conquers the city of Pethor on this side of the 
Euphrates, and the city of Mutunu on the farther side, 
which Tiglath Pilesar had won, but Assur-rab-amar 

1 G. Bawlinson, "Monarch." I 2 , 319 ; 2*, 97. 

2 G-. Smith, " Discov." pp. 91, 141, 252. 

3 Sayce, " Records of the Past," pp. 94, 95. 


had restored by a treaty to the king of Aram, and 
settled Assyrians in both places. Then he fought 
against a prince of the name of Akhuni, who resided 
at Tul Barsip on the Euphrates. Shalmanesar takes 
this city, transplants the inhabitants to Assyria, and 
calls it Kar-Salmanassar. He receives the tribute 
of Sangar, prince of Karchemish, against whom his 
father had fought, and finally took Akhuni himself 
prisoner. 1 Then he advances towards Chamani (to 
the Amanus), crosses the Arantu (Orontes) ; Pikhirim 
of the land of Chilaku (i. e. of Cilicia) is conquered 
by him. 2 

The next object of the arms of Shalmanesar was 
Syria, which he had merely touched on the north in 
passing by on the campaign against Cilicia. On a 
memorial stone which he set up at Kurkh, on the Upper 
Tigris, where we already found the image of Assur- 
nasirpal, the stone is now in the British Museum, 
Shalmanesar tells us that in the year 854 B.C. he 
left Nineveh, marched to Kar-Salmanassar, and there 
received the tribute of Sangar of Karchemish, Kutaspi 
of Kummukh, and others. "From the Euphrates I 
marched forth, and advanced against the city of Hal- 
wan. They avoided a battle and embraced my feet. 
I received gold and silver from them as their tribute. 
I made rich offerings to Bin, the god of Hal wan. From 
Hal wan I set forth and marched against two cities of 


Irchulina of Hamath. Argana, his royal city, I took ; 
his prisoners, the goods and treasures of his palace, I 
carried away ; I threw fire upon his palaces. From 
Argana I marched forth to Karkar. I destroyed 
Karkar and laid it waste and burnt it with fire. 
Twelve hundred chariots, 1200 horsemen, 20,000 men 

1 According to the inscription of Kurkh in the year 856 ; according 
to the obelisk 854 B.C. 3 Menant, " Ann." p. 107. 


of Benhadad of Damascus ; l 700 chariots, 700 horse- 
men, 10,000 men of Irchulina of Hamath ; 200 
(?2000) chariots, 10,000 men of Ahab of Israel; 500 
men of the Guaeer ; 1000 men of the land of Musri ; 10 
chariots, 10,000 men of the land of Irkanat ; 200 men 
of Matinbaal of Aradus (Arvada) ; 200 men of the land 
of Usanat; 30 chariots and 10,000 men of Adonibai 
of Sizan ; 1000 camels of Gindibuh of Arba ; hun- 
dred men of Bahsa of Ammon ; these twelve princes 
rendered aid to each other, and marched out against 
me to contend with me in battle. Aided by the sublime 
assistance which Asshur my lord gave to me, I fought 
with them. From the city of Karkar as far as the city of 
Gilzana 2 (?) I made havoc of them. Fourteen thousand 
of their troops I slew ; like the god Bin I caused the 
storm to descend upon them ; during the battle I took 
their chariots, their horses, their horsemen, and their 
yoke-horses from them. 3 On the obelisk of black 
basalt found in the ruins of Chalah, Shalmanesar says 
quite briefly, " In my sixth campaign I went against 
the cities on the banks of Balikh (Belik) and crossed 
the Euphrates. Benhadad of Damascus, and Irchulina 
of Hamath, and the kings of the land of Chatti and 
the sea came down to battle with me. I conquered 
them ; I overcame 20,500 of their warriors with my 
arms." The same statement is repeated in a third 
inscription, that of the bulls. 4 

The kings of Syria were defeated, but by no means 
subdued. Shalmanesar says nothing of their subjuga- 

1 Bin-hidri is read by E. Schrader and others. Bimmon-hidri by 
Sayce. As the god Bin was also called Eimmon, the ideogram of the 
name may be read one way or the other. The Books of the Kings call 
the contemporary of Ahab, Benhadad. For farther information, see 
p. 247, note. * Sayce, " Eecords," 3, 100. 

3 E. Schrader, " Keilinschriften und A. T." s. 94 ff., 101, 102; 
Menant, loc. cit. pp. 99, 113. 4 Menant, "Ann." p. 115. 


tion aud tribute (p. 246). The arms of Assyria were 
next turned in another direction. An illegitimate 
brother, Marduk-Belusati, had rebelled against Marduk- 
zikir-iskun, the son and successor of Nebu-Baladan of 
Babylon. Shalmanesar supported the first. During 
the second campaign against Marduk - Belusati the 
united troops of Marduk-zikir-iskun and Shalmanesar, 
or the latter alone, succeeded in defeating the rebels ; 
Marduk-Belusati was captured and put to death with 
his adherents. Shalmanesar sacrificed at Babylon, 
Borsippa, and Kutha. He claims to have imposed 
tribute on the chiefs of the land of Kaldi (Chaldsea), 
and to have spread his fame to the sea. 1 

After this decisive success in Babylonia, Shalmanesar 
resumed the war against Damascus. For two years 
in succession he marched out against Benhadad of 
Damascus. In the year 851 he defeats Benhadad of 
Damascus, the king of Hamath, together with 12 
kings from the shores of the sea. 2 Then the king 
tells us further : " For the ninth time (850 B.C.) I 
crossed the Euphrates. I conquered cities without 
number ; I marched against the cities of the land of 
Chatti and of Hamath ; I conquered 89 (79) cities. 
Benhadad of Damascus, 12 kings of the Chatti (Syrians), 
mutually confided in their power. I put them to 
flight." And further : " In the fourteenth year of my 
reign (846 B.C.) I counted my distant and innumer- 
able lands. With 120,000 men of my soldiers I 
crossed the Euphrates. Meanwhile Benhadad of Da- 
mascus, and Irchulina of Hamath, with the 12 kings of 
the upper and lower sea, armed their numerous troops 
to march against me. I offered them battle, put them 
to flight, seized their chariots and their horsemen, and 

1 Vol. i. 257. Menant, " Babyl." p. 135. 

1 Inscriptions on the bulls in Menant, "Ann." p. 114. 


and marched against the cities of Hazael of Damascus, 
took from them their baggage. In order to save their 
lives, they rose up and fled." l This victory also was 
without result. In vain Shalmanesar had marched 
four times against Damascus ; in vain he led out on 
the last campaign 120,000 men against Syria. Not till 
some years afterwards, when Hazael, as we saw above 
(p. 252), killed Beiihadad and acquired the throne of 
Damascus in his place, can Shalmanesar speak of a 
decisive campaign in Syria. " In the eighteenth year 
of my reign (842 B.C.) I crossed the Euphrates for 
the sixteenth time. Hazael (Chazailu) from the land of 
Aram trusted in the might of his troops, collected his 
numerous armies, and made the mountains of Sanir, 2 
the summits of the mountains facing the range of 
Lebanon, his fortress. I fought with him and over- 
threw him ; 16,000 of his warriors I conquered with 
my weapons; 1121 of his chariots, 410 of his horse- 
men, together with his treasures, I took from him. To 
save his life he fled away. I pursued him. I besieged 
him in Damascus, his royal city ; I destroyed his forti- 
fications. I marched to the mountains of Hauran ; I 
destroyed cities without number, laid them waste, and 
burned them with fire : I led forth their prisoners 
without number. I marched to the mountains of the 
land of Bahliras, which lies hard by the sea : I set up 
my royal image there. At that time I received the 
tribute of the Tyriau and Sidouian land, of Jehu 
(Jahua), the son of Omri (Chumri), i. e. of Jehu, king of 
Israel." 3 Though Sidon, Tyre, and Israel paid tribute, 
the resistance of the Damascenes was still unbroken. 
Shalmanesar further informs us that (in the year 839 
B.c.) he crossed the Euphrates for the twenty-first time, 

1 E. Schrader, loc. cit. s. 103; above, p. 251. 

8 Communication from E. Schrader ; cf . Deuteron. iii. 9. 

3 E. Schrader, "K A. T." s. 106, 107. 


But he does not say that he reduced them ; he only 
asserts that he received the tribute of Tyre, Sidon, and 
Byblus, and then assures us, quite briefly, in the 
account, of his twenty-fifth campaigD (835 B.C.), that 
he received " the tribute of all the princes of Syria " (of 
the land of Chatti). 1 

In the very first years of his reign Shalmanesar had 
contended against the prince Arami of Ararat, and 
against the land of Nairi, between the Eastern Tigris 
and the Greater Zab. The obedience of these regions 
was not gained. In the year 853 Shalmanesar again 
marched to the sources of the Tigris, erected his statue 
there, and laid tribute on the land of Nairi. 2 Twenty 
years later he sent the commander-in- chief of his army, 
Dayan-Assur, against the land of Ararat, at the head 
of which Siduri now stood, and not Arami. Dayan- 
Assur crossed the river Arzania (p. 314) and defeated 
Siduri (833 B.C.). On a farther campaign (in 830 B.C.) 
Dayan-Assur crosses the Greater Zab, invades the terri- 
tory of Khubuskia (p. 314), fights against prince Udaki 
of Van, i. e. of the Armenian land round Lake Van, 
and from this descends into the land of the Parsua, 
which Shalmanesar himself had trodden seven years 
before. Here Dayan-Assur collected fresh tribute. 
On a third campaign (829 B.C.) Dayan-Assur received 
tribute from the land of Khubuskia, then invaded 
Ararat, and there plundered and burned 50 places. 

Meanwhile Shalmanesar himself marched in the years 
838 and 837 B.C. against the land of Tabal, i. e. 
against the Tibarenes, on the north-west offshoot of the 
Armenian mountains, advanced as far as the mines of 
the Tibarenes, and laid tribute on their 24 princes. 3 In 

1 Of. above, p. 257. 

2 Inscription of the obelisk and the bulls in Menant, " Ann." 99, 114. 

3 Menant, loc. cit. p. 101. 


the next year he turns to the south-east, marches over 
the Lesser Zab, against the lands of Namri and Karkhar, 
which we must therefore suppose to have been between 
the Lesser Zab and the Adhim and Diala, on the spurs 
of the Zagrus. Yanzu, king of Namri, was taken 
captive, and carried to Assyria. Shalmanesar left the 
land of Namri, imposed tribute on the 27 princes of the 
land of Parsua, and turned to the plains of the land 
of Amadai, i. e. against Media (835 B.C.). 1 Two years 
afterwards. Shalmanesar climbed, for the ninth time, 
the heights of Amanus (Chamani), then he laid waste 
the land of Kirchi (831 B.C.), then marched once more 
against the land of Namri, there laid waste 250 places, 
and advanced beyond Chalvan (Chalonitis, Holwan). 2 
On the obelisk of black basalt, dug up at Chalah in 
the remains of the palace of Shalmanesar II. (the 
central palace of the explorers), we find beside the 
account of the deeds of the king five sculptures in 
relief, which exhibit payments of tribute. Of the 
picture which represents the payment of Jehu, of the 
kingdom of Israel, we have spoken at length above (p. 
257). Above this, which is the second picture, on the 
highest or first, is delineated the payment from the land 
of Kirzan. The title tells us : " Tribute imposed on Sua 
of the land of Kirzan : 3 gold, silver, copper, lead, 
staves, horses, camels with two humps." As on the 
second strip the king is represented receiving the 
tribute of Israel ; so on this strip also we see the 
leader of those who pay tribute prostrate on the ground 
before him; behind the leader are led a horse and two 
camels with double humps ; then follow people carry- 
ing staves and kettles. The superscription of the third 
relief says : " Tribute imposed on the land of Mushri : 

1 Menant, p. 101. * Menant, p. 104. 

8 Sayce reads Guzan. 


camels with two humps, the ox of the river Sakeya." 
On the picture we see two camels with double humps, 
a hump-backed buffalo, a rhinoceros, an antelope, an 
elephant, four large apes, which are led, and one little 
one, which is carried. The superscription of the fourth 
relief says : " Tribute imposed upon Marduk-palassar of 
the land of Sukhi : l silver, gold, golden buckets, Amsi- 
horns, staves, Birmi-robes, stuffs." The relief itself de- 
picts a lion, a deer, which is clutched by a second lion, 
two men with kettles on their heads, two men who carry 
a pole, on which are suspended materials for robes, 
four men with hooked buckets or hooked scrips, two 
men with large horns on their shoulders, two men 
with staves, arid lastly a man carrying a bag. The 
superscription of the fifth relief says, " Tribute imposed 
on Garparunda of the land of Patinai : silver, gold, 
lead, copper, objects made of copper, Amsi-horns, hard 
wood." 2 Under this we see a man raising his hands 
in entreaty, a man with a bowl with high cups on 
his head, two men with hooked buckets, carrying horns 
on their shoulders, one man with staves ; after these 
two Assyrian officers, a man in a position of entreaty, 
two men with hooked buckets and horns, a man with 
two goblets, two men with hooked buckets and sacks 
on their shoulders, two men, of whom one holds a 
kettle, and the other carries a kettle on his head. 

Assurnasirpal had already fought against the land 
of Sukhi. As he marches to the Euphrates in order to 
attack Sadudu, prince of Sukhi, as the king of Babylon 
sends auxiliaries to Sadudu at that time, and the land 
of Chaldeea is seized with terror after the conquest of 
the land of Sukhi, we must look for Sukhi on the 

1 According to a communication from E. Schrader, Marduk-habal- 
assur ought to be read, not Marduk-habal-iddin. 

2 Oppert, "Memoires de 1'Acad. d. inscript." 1869, 1, 513; Sayce, 
" Records of the Past," 5, 42. 

VOL. n. T 


Middle Euphrates, below the mouth of the Chaboras. 
The tribute which, according to that inscription, Shal- 
manesar imposed on the prince of Sukhi, who has a name 
which may be compared with the names of the kings 
of Babylon, gold, silver, robes, and stuffs, does not 
contradict this assumption. Shalmanesar fought against 
the Patinai in the first year of his reign, according to 
the inscription of Kurkh. Shapalulme, the prince of 
the Patinai at that time, combined with Sangar of 
Karchemish and Akhuni of Tul-Barsip. Like these, 
the Patinai were vanquished, their cities were taken, 
14,600 prisoners were carried away, and they were 
compelled to pay tribute. As Shalmanesar in order 
to reach the Patinai marches against them from Mount 
Amanus, 1 we must look for their abode on the Upper 
Euphrates, to the north of Karchemish, between the 
Euphrates and the Orontes. The tribute imposed on 
Garparunda of Patinai gold, silver, copper, Amsihorns, 
hard wood is not against this supposition. The land 
of Kirzan or Guzan we can only attempt to fix by the 
tribute paid camels with double humps. This kind of 
camel is found on the southern shore of the Caspian Sea 
and Tartary, and we are therefore led to place Kirzan 
on the southern shore of the Caspian. The land of 
Mushri, the tribute of which consists of hump-backed 
buffaloes, i. e. Yaks (an animal belonging to the same 
district, Bactria and Tibet), camels with double humps, 
elephants, and rhinoceroses, and apes, must therefore 
be sought in eastern Iran, on the borders of the district 
of the Indus, whether it be that Shalmanesar really 
penetrated so far, or that the terror of his name moved 
East Iranian countries to send tribute to the warrior 
prince of Nineveh and Chalah. 

Like his father, Shalmanesar resided at Chalah. On 

1 Sayce, " Records of the Past," 3, 88, 89, 90, 91, 99. 


the terrace of this city, to the south-east of the palace 
of his father, he built a dwelling-place for himself, and 
in this set up the obelisk, the inscriptions on which 
give a brief account of each year of his reign. In the 
ruins of this house two bulls also have been discovered, 
which are covered with inscriptions, which, together 
with the inscription of Kurkh on the Tigris, supplement 
or extend the statements of the obelisk. More consider- 
able remains have come down to us of another building 
of Shalmanesar. Assurnasirpal had erected at Chalah 
two temples to the north of his palace. To the larger 
(western) of these two temples on the north-west corner 
of the terrace Shalmanesar added a tower, the ruins of 
which in the form of a pyramidal hill still overtop 
the uniform heap of the ruined palaces. On the 
foundation of the natural rock of the bank of the 
Tigris lies a square substructure (each of the sides 
measures over 150 feet) of 20 feet in height, built of 
brick and cased with stone. On this base rises a 
tower of several diminishing stories. In the first of 
these stories, immediately upon the platform, is a pas- 
sage 100 feet long, 12 feet high, and 6 feet in breadth, 
which divides the storey exactly in the middle from 
east to west. 

Two centuries after the fall of the Assyrian kingdom, 
Xenophon, marching up the Tigris with the 10,000, 
reached the ruins of Chalah. After crossing the 
Zapatus, i.e. the Greater Zab, he came to a large 
deserted city on the Tigris, the name of which sounded 
to him like Larissa (Chalah) ; it was surrounded by a 
wall about seven and a-half miles long. This wall had 
a substructure of stone masonry about 20 feet high ; 
on this it rose, 25 feet in thickness, and built of 
bricks, to the height of 100 feet. Beside the city was 
a pyramid of stone, a plethron (100 feet) broad and 

Y 2 


two plethra high ; to these many of the neighbouring 
hamlets fled for refuge. 1 Shalmanesar's tower was 
broken, and by the fall of the upper parts had become 
changed into a pyramid. The sides of the tower 
Xenophon put at almost half their real size ; the 
height of the ruins is still about 140 feet. That 
Shalmanesar also stayed at Nineveh is proved by the 
inscriptions ; that he possessed a palace in the ancient 
city of Asshur is proved by the stamp of the tiles at 
Kileh Shergat. 2 

In a reign of 36 years Shalmanesar II. had gained 
important successes. In the north he had advanced 
as far as Lake Van, and the valley of the Araxes, the 
Tibarenes in the north-west, and the Cilicians in 
the west had felt the weight of his arms. He had 
directed his most stubborn efforts against the princes 
on the crossings over the Euphrates towards Syria, and 
towards the region of Mount Amanus and Syria itself. 
Damascus and Hamath were forced to pay tribute 
after a series of campaigns ; Byblus, Sidon, and Tyre 
repeatedly paid tribute, and Israel after it had received 
a new master in Jehu. By Shalmanesar's successful 
interference in the contest for the crown in the civil 
war in Babylon, the supremacy of Asshur over Babel 
was at length obtained. The regions of the Zagrus 
had to pay tribute to Shalmanesar. He first trod the 
land of Media, and his successes were felt beyond 
Media as far as the southern shore of the Caspian Sea 
and East Iran. 

In spite of the unwearied activity of Shalmanesar, 
in spite of his ceaseless campaigns and the important 
results gained by his weapons, his reign ended amid 
domestic troubles, caused by a rebellion of the native 
land. Shalmanesar's son and successor, Samsi-Bin III. 
(823 810 B.C.), tells us in an inscription found in the 

1 " Anab." 3, 4, 79. 8 Menant, loc. cit. p. 96. 


remains of his palace, which he built in the south-east 
corner of the terrace of Chalah, that his brother Assur- 
daninpal set on foot a conspiracy against his father 
Shalmanesar, and that the land of Asshur, both the Upper 
and Lower, joined the rebellion. He enumerates 27 
cities, among them Asshur itself, the ancient metropolis, 
and Arbela, which joined Assurdaninpal ; but " with the 
help of the great gods " Samsi-Bin reduced them again 
to his power. Then he tells us of his campaigns in the 
north and east. In his first campaign the whole land of 
Nairi was subjugated all the princes, 24 in number, 
are mentioned ; the land of Van also paid tribute. The 
Assyrian dominion, asserts the king, stretched from the 
land of Nairi to the city of Kar-Salmanassar, opposite 
Karchemish (p. 31 5). Then he fought against the land of 
Giratbunda (apparently a region on the Caspian Sea, per- 
haps Gerabawend), took the king prisoner, and set up 
his own image in Sibar, the capital of Giratbunda, 1 and 
afterwards directed his arms against the land of Accad 
(Babylonia). When he had slain 13,000 men and 
taken 3000 prisoners, king Marduk-Balatirib marched 
out against him with the warriors of Chaldsea and 


Elam, of the lands of Namri (p. 320) and Aram. He 
defeated them near Dur-Kurzu, their capital : 5000 
were left on the field, 2000 taken prisoners; 200 
chariots of war and ensigns of the king remained in 
the hands of the Assyrians (819 B.C.). At this point 
the inscription breaks off ; elsewhere we hear nothing 
of further successes against Babylonia, we only learn 
that Samsi-Bin in the eleventh and twelfth years of 
his reign (812 and 811 B.C.) again marched to Chal- 
dsea and Babylon, 2 and we can only conclude from 

1 The reading is uncertain. 

2 Oppert, " Empires," pp. 127, 128 ; G. Bawlinson, "Monarch." 2 Z , p. 
115, n. 8 ; Menant, loc. cit. p. 124. 


the fact that the king of Babylon received help not 
only from Narari and Aram, but also from Elam, that 
the Assyrians under Samsi-Bin continued to advance, 
and that their power must by this time have appeared 
alarming to the Elamites also. 

Bin-nirar III. (810 781 B.C.), the son and successor 
of Samsi-Bin, raised the Assyrian power still higher, 
Twice he marched out against the Armenian land on 
the shore of Lake Van ; eight times he made campaigns 
in the land of the rivers, i. e. Mesopotamia. In the 
fifth year of his reign he went out against the city of 
Arpad in Syria ; in the eighth against the " sea-coast," 
i. e. no doubt against the coast of Syria. The begin- 
ning of an inscription remains from which we can see 
the extent of the lands over which he ruled, or which 
he had compelled to pay tribute. " I took into my 
possession," so this fragment tells us, " from the land 
of Siluna, which lies at the rising of the sun, onwards ; 
viz., the land of Kib, of Ellip, Karkas, Arazias, Misu, 
Madai (Media), Giratbunda throughout its whole extent, 
Munna, Parsua, Allabria, Abdadana, the land of Nairi 
throughout its whole extent, the land of Andiu, which 
is remote, the mountain range of Bilchu throughout its 
whole extent to the great sea which lies in the east, i. e. 
as far as the Caspian Sea. I made subject to myself 
from the Euphrates onwards : the land of Chatti 
(Aram), the western land (mat acharri] throughout its 
whole extent, Tyre, Sidon, the land of Omri (Israel) 
and Edom, the land of Palashtav (Philisteea) as far as 
the great sea to the setting of the sun. I imposed 
upon them payment of tribute. I also marched 
against the land of Imirisu (the kingdom of Damascus), 
aorainst Mariah, the kingr of the land of Imirisu. I 

O *-* 

actually shut him up in Damascus, the city of his 
kingdom ; great terror of Asshur came upon him ; he 
embraced my feet, lie became a subject ; 2300 talents of 


silver, 20 talents of gold, 3000 talents of copper, 5000 
talents of iron, robes, carven images, his wealth and 
his treasures without number, I received in his palace 
at Damascus where he dwelt. 1 I subjugated all the 
kings of the land of Chaldsea, and laid tribute upon 
them ; I offered sacrifice at Babylon, Borsippa, and 
Kutha, the dwellings of the gods Be], Nebo, and 
Nergal." 2 

According to this king Bin-nirar not only main- 
tained the predominance over Babylon which his 
grandfather had gained, but extended it : his authority 
reached from Media, perhaps from the shores of the 
Caspian Sea, to the shore of the Mediterranean as far 
as Damascus and Israel and Edom, as far as Sidon and 
Tyre and the cities of the Philistines. The Cilicians 
and Tibarenes who paid tribute to Shalmanesar are not 
mentioned by Bin - nirar in his description of his 
empire. So far as we can see, the centre of the kingdom 
was meanwhile extended and more firmly organised. 
Among the magistrates with whose names the Assyrians 
denote the years, at the time of Shalmanesar and his 
immediate successors the names of the commander-in- 
chief and three court officers are regularly followed by 
the names of the overseers of the districts of Rezeph 
(Resapha on the Euphrates), of Nisib (Nisibis on the 
Mygdonius, the eastern affluent of the Chaboras), of 
Arapha, i. e. the mountain-land of Arrapachitis ( Albak) ; 
hence we may conclude that these districts were more 
closely connected or incorporated with the native land, 
and governed immediately by viceroys of the king. How 
uncertain the power and supremacy of Assyria was at 
a greater distance is on the other hand equally clear 
from the fact that Bin-nirar had to make no fewer than 
eight campaigns in the land of the streams, i. e. between 

* E. Schrader, Joe. cit. B. Ill, 112. 

* Menant, loc. cit. p. 127; cf. G. Eawlinson, 2", 117. 


the Tigris and the Euphrates ; that he marched four 
times against the land of Khubuskia in the neighbour- 
hood of Armenia, and twice against the district of Lake 
Van, against which his father and grandfather had so 
often contended. 

Bin-nirar III. also built himself a separate palace at 
Chalah, on the western edge of the terrace of the royal 
dwellings, to the south of the palace of his great grand- 
father Assurnasirpal. In the ruins of the temple 
which he dedicated to Nebo have been found six 
standing images of this deity, two of which bear 
upon the pedestal those inscriptions which informed 
us that the wife of Bin-nirar III. was named Sammura- 
mat (p. 45). On a written tablet dated from the year 
of Musallim-Adar (i. e. from the year 793 B.C.), the 
eighteenth year of Bin-nirar, on which is still legible 
the fragment of a royal decree, we also find the double 
impress of his seal a royal figure which holds a lion. 
A second document from the time of the reign of this 
prince, from the twenty-sixth year of his reign (782 
B.C.), registers the sale of a female slave at the price of 
ten and a half minae, and gives the name of the ten 
witnesses to the transaction. 1 The preservation of this 
document is the more important inasmuch as a notice 
in Phenician letters is written beside it. Hence we 
may conclude that even in the days of Bin-nirar III. 
the alphabetic writing was known as far as this point 
in the East, though the cuneiform alphabet was 
retained beside it, not only at that time, but down to 
100 B.C., and indeed, to all appearance, down to the 
first century of our reckoning. 2 

1 Oppert et Menant, " Documents juridiques," pp. 146 148. 
* G. Smith, "Discov." p. 389 ; Oppert et Menant, loc. cit. p. 342.